Save the chickens!

I do apologize for the inglorious photo here – it was taken on the fly – but I wanted to introduce you to my new best lunch friend, egg salad. Except this is not egg salad.

Looks like, it, no?

It’s tofu masquerading as egg salad.
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Before you go “EWWWW,” let me tell you. It tastes exactly like the real thing.

Taste and texture.

The key here: really good quality vegan mayo – I swear by Vegenaise, it’s the only kind I buy – and Dijon or stone ground mustard. The mustard is critical for giving the salad that “egg salad” taste.

I got the recipe here. Feel free to play around with it, as I did. So save a chicken, and serve it to your egg lovin’, tofu-hatin’ friends and see what they think!

I’m back!

Hi. Again, I am so sorry I’ve been neglectful here. When I signed in I realized the last post was from ….AUGUST! Yikes! Well, welcome back you all, thank you to my new followers, and I promise to try and post once a week!

Happy new year – 2014 is off to a roaring start. I’ve been doing research on raw foods, something I would like to try and eat more this year! There’s a fantastic raw vegan café out on St Pete Beach (for you vegan vacationers that ever make it this way) called Vida de Café. It’s chic, a little funky, super clean and welcoming, and they have an impressive menu of raw creations. I’ve been there a handful of times, and I LOVE their raw tacos. (I’ve even made a version of theirs at home!) Their ‘sushi’ is wonderful, too. The menu is small and simple and I think that’s great, so they can concentrate on making excellent the few things they have.

Anyhoo…more raw food for me this year, yes, please!

Another new obsession in my life: spaghetti squash. HOW HAVE I NEVER HAD THIS BEFORE? Me, being the spaghettisquashnoodleholic and squash lover…two things combined into one faboo meal? Zing! I made mine cheesy with vegan cream cheese and some nooch…oh, my. I was surprised at how filling it is, too!

Ok. I’ll be back soon, I promise, with more musings! Tell me, what are your food plans for 2014?

Buffalo Tempeh

ImageI’d seen recipes online for vegan “Buffalo Wings,” combining all sorts of different ingredients and preparing them in myriad ways. And they always just seemed too complicated – or maybe it was just me?

Seeking a super-healthy and easy version, I ignored all convention and marinated sliced tempeh in Trappey’s Bull Sauce over night, turning the tempeh now and then in order to assure all the pieces soaked up the sauce.

I then heated my oven on 400, rolled the tempeh pieces in panko bread crumbs, and baked the tempeh until the coating looked crispy and brown.

There. Super quick “wings.”

This isn’t the prettiest picture – but the wings were good for a first attempt. I whipped up “ranch” dip with Veganaise, garlic and onion powder, and dried parsley. Coated the wings with more bull sauce for extra dippiness.

Result? A pretty passable “chicken” substitute, definitely a good way to satisfy the spicy, salty, crunchy cravings I get every now and then!

Here I go again.

ImageHave I told you how much I LOVE making homemade veggie stock? I know I’ve expounded on the subject many a time before – and I duly apologize for the repetition.

But.

I. Love. Making. Veggie. Stock.

Full stop.

I have a freezer full of the stuff. Never knowing when it might be needed, it could serve as the base for a really awesome French onion soup, or as an elixir for if and when I come down with a nasty flu bug, God should be so gentle.

And not only that: but I love knowing I’m not just tossing out the inedible bits and bobs that come from my veggies. Just throw them in a freezer bag, and when the bag seems full enough, bingo! Time to make the stock!

If you’d like my uber-easy stock-making secret, just leave a comment!

 

Huzzah! Vegan Shepherd’s Pie.

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Oh, my. It’s a giant mound of semi-chunky, semi-smooth homemade mashed potatoes atop a gravylicious bed of Yves ‘beef’ crumbles and corn, and sprinkled lightly with Daiya.

Gosh, there are days when I want really heavy comfort food. I’ve perfected the vegan Shepherd’s Pie, and the day I made this one was drizzly and grey. How fitting for a dish that originated in drizzly and grey England!

And no, I don’t use that powdery crap (aka potato flakes) that comes in a box. No, only homemade mash for me. And gravy? Easy. Gravy Master is vegan, cheap, and makes up a good deal of beefy gravy when mixed with water and cornstarch (to thicken). Douse the Yves “beef” in gravy, dollop those beautiful potatoes on top, and bake at 350 for about 25 minutes until it all gets nice and hot and melds together.

Don’t forget extra gravy! Pip pip!

 

 

The prodigal vegan has returned – with a new friend!

Hi all! I made a new friend recently in one of my condo clients. Not only is she close to my age, loves thrift shopping, photography, and believes in the three Rs  (Reduce, reuse, recycle) – like me – she is vegan!

E lives in the building I manage. Having just moved from Atlanta with three little (vegan) daughters in tow, she works from home and in between phone calls, whips up tasty raw vegan treats. She’s only housesitting for the summer for her dad, but E brought all her vegan cookbooks, juicer and even her dehydrator down to Florida! Talk about a woman on a mission!

And my new BFF has invited me up to her place for two yummy raw lunches so far. What a treat! And now we’re emailing each other photos of our food. (Dorks, haha!)

Here is E’s raw tofu scramble: tofu, turmeric, red
onions, tomatoes, parsley (newly dehydrated), roasted buckwheat, olive oil, nama shoyu, sea salt and pepper.

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It’s so nice having a new buddy like E!

The Boundary

I was so happy to hear that my town has a new veg-friendly restaurant. Of course, it’s only natural: the chef at the Boundary was formerly the chef for the much lauded vegetarian eatery, Meze 119. So naturally, there would be vegan offerings in store! 

ImageMy veg friends had all made a trip to the Boundary before I did, and came away raving about the vegan BBQ sliders. When I finally made my round, I had to try them. It was So. Much. Food. I had to take half of it home! I’d also tried a plate of crispy flash-fried spinach, but again, that was enough for two people. Yikes. But everything was yummy, and the have lovely craft beers which they allow you to sample before committing. 

There are other vegan options on the menu, but the tempeh sliders really stole the show!