vegansaurus!

02/01/2012

Oh deliciousness! It’s our pal Vi Zahajszky's hemp seed tofu! It looks amazing! Go get her recipe (with detailed, illustrated instructions) at Bay Area Bites. And then make it for us, we’re hungry and totally curious.

Oh deliciousness! It’s our pal Vi Zahajszky's hemp seed tofu! It looks amazing! Go get her recipe (with detailed, illustrated instructions) at Bay Area Bites. And then make it for us, we’re hungry and totally curious.

12/23/2011

Make this now: Our pal Vi Zahajszky's vegan Hungarian Christmas Beigli! Recipes for both poppy seed and walnut varieties are at KQED's Bay Area Bites!

Make this now: Our pal Vi Zahajszky's vegan Hungarian Christmas Beigli! Recipes for both poppy seed and walnut varieties are at KQED's Bay Area Bites!

07/06/2011

I must own these. And these. And these. I have unique amazing taste in footwear and I think these are the fucking cutest and can’t nobody say boo to me about it. But, uh, Cally, what you think? Vi? Opinions? Meave? 
Oh, and there made in Tel Aviv! So cool! And are purposefully vegan because they love animals! AND FREE SHIPPING. Goodbye, monies! It was nice knowing you!

I must own these. And these. And these. I have unique amazing taste in footwear and I think these are the fucking cutest and can’t nobody say boo to me about it. But, uh, Cally, what you think? Vi? Opinions? Meave? 

Oh, and there made in Tel Aviv! So cool! And are purposefully vegan because they love animals! AND FREE SHIPPING. Goodbye, monies! It was nice knowing you!

03/09/2011

Source: New SF veg restaurant opens today!  »

And Vi’s got the scoop over on Bay Area Bites. We’re intrigued by this somewhat insane concept, and plan on checking it out soon. We do know that all the desserts are vegan because they’re from Wholesome Bakery. Aaaand, that’s about all we know. Oh, except the menu pretty much has every type of food ever on it, and they employ something called “color therapy.” Let’s do this, you wacky hippies.

Reports coming soon, and let us know if you check it out!

03/07/2011

Vi Zahajszky has a recipe for vegan beignets up at Bay Area Bites. They look delicious and like not toooooo much work. I would like a million of them and 17 cups of coffee and also, some French fries. What? It’s Mardi Gras Monday! Oh, I guess that means some gumbo, too.

Vi Zahajszky has a recipe for vegan beignets up at Bay Area Bites. They look delicious and like not toooooo much work. I would like a million of them and 17 cups of coffee and also, some French fries. What? It’s Mardi Gras Monday! Oh, I guess that means some gumbo, too.

03/01/2011

Plantmade: New vegan fashion blog!  »

Vegansaurus regular, very fashionable lady, and apparel design student focusing on all things vegan Vi Zahajszky started Plantmade, a blog that’s all about the ins and outs of being vegan and not looking like a scrub. I know you’re incredibly good-looking and well put together but I have two modes: baby hooker, or the bird lady after she’s been electrocuted. Anyway, she’s planning on having guest posts from minds behind the biz, cute and ethical fashion tips, and just generally stylish shit. Check it out! And buy me these for when I want to rock the electrocuted bird lady and baby hooker at the same time:


I kid; someone more fashionable and not as obviously insane as I would look adorable in them rainy day hookin’ boots. And to whoever you are, I say: GET IT.

02/11/2011

Guest recipe: Hungarian Cauliflower Soup with Cashew Sour Cream  »

For me, Hungarian food is not only comforting, it’s also the only type of cuisine I can cook without referencing recipes. Growing up, I learned from my mom as she cooked green pea soup with nokedli, layered potatoes, cucumber salad, stuffed cabbage, plum dumplings, walnut noodles, and paprikás.

The cool thing about Hungarian food is that not only are many dishes naturally vegan, but many others are easily veganizable. And since my family has never been big on meat (we were even macrobiotic at one point), I have always leaned towards the most easily veganizable dishes anyways.

 So when I had a craving for cauliflower soup I decided to take a traditional recipe from Culinaria Hungary and adjust it a bit. The recipe calls for sour cream (as many Hungarian dishes do) and I figured I’ll just leave it out and make a brothy soup. But when I tasted it I realized that it absolutely needed the creaminess as well as another layer of flavor. Then it came to me—cashew sour cream! It blended into the soup easily and worked really well with the cauliflower, giving a very similar effect as dairy sour cream.

 Below is the edited version of the soup recipe. There are a few recipes you could use for the sour cream—one from jugalbandi that’s actually fermented and one from The Spunky Coconut that uses lemon juice and apple cider vinegar. Honestly, I just put some cashews in my Vitamix, and then added water, lemon juice, and a little salt slowly until it was the right consistency and flavor. If you don’t have a Vitamix or Blendtec, I would recommend pushing the cream through a strainer to make sure it is completely smooth.

 Hungarian Cauliflower Soup (Karfiolleves)

You need:

1-2 pounds cauliflower florets (depends what vegetable to broth ratio you prefer)
4 tablespoons Earth Balance
2 tablespoons flour (if you are gluten-free, you can skip making the roux and just have lighter broth) salt to taste
2-4 tablespoons Hungarian sweet (not hot) paprika—It HAS to be Hungarian paprika. Seriously, my people make the best paprika in the WORLD (mwah hahahaha…)! Don’t fret—you can buy it at any grocery store.
Bunch of parsley, finely chopped

How to:

1. In a large pot, melt the Earth Balance over medium to medium-high heat. Add the flour and cook until golden to very light brown. This will create a liquidy roux.
2. Remove roux from heat and stir in paprika. You never want to put paprika directly in a heated pan because it will burn and turn bitter. Stir in cauliflower florets and coat with roux.
3. Add 6 cups of water and stir to dissolve roux. Add salt to taste. Let soup come to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer until cauliflower is at desired tenderness. I like to have it be pretty soft and able to be cut with a spoon.
4. Add parsley, stir, and turn off heat. Serve in bowls alongside cashew sour cream which can then be added to each bowl and stirred in per individual taste.

Jo étvágyat! (Bon Appétit!)

Vi Zahajszky, originally from Hungary, Boston, and New York, drove across the country to San Francisco two years ago with her husband Chris and a rescue pup named The Bandit. Here, among other things, she’s studying fashion design and pattern-making, and cooking many delicious vegan meals! As you can tell by her previous guest posts, we love her. 

01/14/2011

Over at Bay Area Bites, one of favorite-ever Hungarians and guest-posters, the delightful Vi Zahajszky, wrote an excellent article about tomorrow’s SF Vegan Bakesale! It includes an interview with yours truly and Karin, the two main organizers. There’s also a recipe from Robin Means, one of our awesome volunteers, and that recipe is for the photo above: cupcakes based on RONALD’S DONUTS. Girl, you’ve outdone yourself.
So stop looking at me (I’m know, I’m glorious) and read it!

Over at Bay Area Bites, one of favorite-ever Hungarians and guest-posters, the delightful Vi Zahajszky, wrote an excellent article about tomorrow’s SF Vegan Bakesale! It includes an interview with yours truly and Karin, the two main organizers. There’s also a recipe from Robin Means, one of our awesome volunteers, and that recipe is for the photo above: cupcakes based on RONALD’S DONUTS. Girl, you’ve outdone yourself.

So stop looking at me (I’m know, I’m glorious) and read it!

11/24/2010

Guest recipe: Miyoko Schinner’s vegan mozzarella di bufala!  »

I miss cheese. Don’t get me wrong—I’m sure if I ate it now, I’d get queasy right away and it would feel heavy and cloying (you know, in addition to all the guilt). So I guess what I mean is that I miss the idea of cheese (I’m deep).

I haven’t found a vegan cheese I really like except Dr. Cow, but the stuff costs as much as gold, so I rarely indulge in it and would never even entertain the idea of using it as an ingredient in a recipe.

Daiya is a great development in the store-bought cheese arena, but I’m not a huge fan. To me it tastes too, I dunno, fake. A little like Cheez Wiz (please don’t hate me).

Homemade nut cheese (hee hee) always seemed to me like this mysterious and fancy thing that was unattainable by regular, non-professional folk. But last Thanksgiving I happened to sit with a few lovely people from Café Gratitude and Gracias Madre at the Farm Sanctuary Celebration for the Turkeys (cough, adopt a turkey, cough). I expressed my awe of cashew cheese and they all told me that it’s actually not as intimidating to make as one would think. That was the spark that got me going. My mission became saving up for a Vita-Mix blender as my present to myself for my next 5 birthdays (that thought makes me feel better about the price) and to learn some recipes. In October I attended a cheese-making session held at Veg Fest by Miyoko Schinner and it got me so inspired that I finally took a deep breath and bought my blender (and she’s beautiful guys!).

Miyoko made three cheeses—gruyère, brie, and mozzarella di bufala—all delicious. I mean far and away the closest I’ve had to real cheese. It has the sharpness coming from the fermentation process and the right mouthfeel (ugh, I hate that word). And it’s pure food. Nothing processed here.

For those of you who may be intimidated like I was, I wanted to share my experience with Miyoko’s recipe—which is below, as well as on her blog—and  show you that it’s not so scary to do.

Important note: Do everything as she says; I didn’t on my first attempt, and the whole thing bombed. Basically, make sure to ferment it long enough to have a sharpness but not so long that it loses the mildness of mozzarella. I only did six hours on the first try for fear of making it too sharp, and the cheese tasted like nothing. I would taste as the hours go by and stop fermenting* when it’s right for you. Because it had no tang, and in an effort to salvage it, I continued to further screw up by adding lemon juice. I’m no scientist, but apparently lemon juice doesn’t like agar agar. The balls didn’t firm up (hee hee) in the water and it was a mushy mess. So, no lemon juice!

The one thing I did change in my second attempt, which didn’t seem to ruin anything, is add a whole teaspoon of salt, because—well, I just really like salt.

The second batch came out beautifully. The cheese firming almost immediately in the ice water was very neat—like Magic Shell chocolate sauce (side note: You can totally make that stuff yourself!).

I made a stacked Caprese salad with a reduced balsamic drizzle (dudes, it’s just boiled vinegar) and also tried it on pizza. The Caprese salad is remarkably similar to the non-vegan version, and on pizza it’s much more satisfying than Daiya and melts into a smooth ricotta-like texture with a slightly sharper flavor. I plan to melt it onto pasta next. I did this with Miyoko’s gruyère and some store-bought pasta sauce and it was delicious!

I hope you guys try it. I don’t do math, but this is probably more affordable than buying Dr. Cow or Daiya all the time (true?). That’s probably not counting the blender though. But really, buy that blender if you can. If you don’t have the money now make your next birthday request from friends and family to be a contribution to your blender fund. And you can buy them refurbished, which saves you $100. Plus they’re like Volvos and last forever.

So get to it! Make some fancy cheese and have that fancy holiday wine and cheese party you’ve always dreamed of.

Fresh Mozzarella di Bufala (di cashews)
by Miyoko Schinner

Ingredients
2 cups raw cashews, soaked for several hours in water
½ cup Rejuvelac
pinch of sea salt
½ to ¾ tsp. Xanthan gum
optional: 4 Tbsp. canola or refined coconut oil (for meltability purposes—not needed if using for Caprese salad or otherwise serving cold)
2 Tbs. agar agar flakes
⅔ cup water

Instructions
In the morning (or the day before)
Drain the cashews and place in a blender with the Rejuvelac and salt. Blend, stopping to push down and scrape as necessary, until absolutely creamy and smooth. Add ½ tsp. of the xanthan gum and reprocess until it thickens and looks gooey. Place in a bowl, cover, and allow to sit at room temperature for 8 to 24 hours, depending on the temperature of your room. Mozzarella has a mild flavor, so be careful not to let it sit out too long lest it develop a tang. You want it to develop some flavor and depth, but still be mild.

In the evening or the next day
Place the cheese back in the blender. Dissolve the agar agar flakes by mixing with the water in a small pot and bringing to a boil; allow to simmer, stirring with a whisk, for several minutes until completely dissolved. Pour the agar agar into the blender and blend until completely incorporated. To achieve a “stretchier” consistency, add an additional ¼ to ½ tsp. xanthan gum.

Forming the Balls
Have ready a bowl filled with a quart or so of cold water and 1 tsp. salt. Immediately after blending, use a small ice cream scoop to form little balls of the soft cheese; drop into the water. They will harden almost instantaneously. Refrigerate for up to one week.

*If you are celiac or wheat-allergic, try replacing the Rejuvelac with a probiotic mix of ¾ tsp. of New Chapter Probiotics dissolved in 1 cup warm water, and use half of that for this recipe. I have a theory that this may produce a more mild sharpness—so I plan to experiment with this change as well.

Vi Zahajszky, originally from Hungary, Boston, and New York, drove across the country to San Francisco two years ago with her husband Chris and a rescue pup named The Bandit. Here, among other things, she’s studying fashion design and pattern-making, and making many delicious vegan meals!

[photos by Vi and Chris]

11/01/2010

Radio hour: KQED’s “Forum” featuring Mark Bittman on his new book and his vegan-ish diet!  »

Last Wednesday, we totally missed someone awesome-ish on the radio: Mark Bittman! He hates industrially produced food! And “wholesome” food, namely produce and whole grains. “Plants are clearly more sustainable that processed food or animal products,” he says, with which we obviously agree. To him, “‘Wholesome food’…basically means unprocessed fruits and vegetables—legumes and nuts and grains and seeds.”

He also discusses his views on meat consumption, on quantity and sustainability—he says that “Americans kill 10 billion animals a year, and globally it’s 60 billion.” Bittman doesn’t address the emotional aspect—his turn toward mainly vegan eating was inspired by health and environmental concerns—so we will: MARY MOTHER OF GOD 10 BILLION ANIMALS. Greatest Country in the World.

Michael Krasny, the host, notes that Bittman wasn’t able to update his 1999 cookbook Fish because too many of the 70 species covered are endangered or nearly extinct. Ha ha 11 years later and almost 70 species of fish have become “endangered” or “nearly extinct”! Fishing is so awesome, not at all wasteful or insane.

You should listen to the rest of the interview yourself, it’s great-ish and full of facts. Find loads of Mark Bittman’s veg recipes on his website.

Update: Friend of Vegansaurus and guest writer Vi Zahajszky met Mr. Bittman as part of her clearly very demanding and terrible job at KQED. We are sooo envious.

[photo of paella with tomatoes, plus recipe!, by Flickr user Pabo76]

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