Tuesday, June 30, 2009

what do i do with all this leftover matzah?

yeah, like you got a box of that lying around the house. if you're a jew like me--this might be true! every year after passover, i have one or two boxes of matzoh taking up space in the pantry, and i can't bear to throw it away. the stuff stays crunchy for-EVA, so what to do?

kids, i give you: matzanga!

you'll need:

  1. a rectangular or square casserole dish
  2. the oven set to three-fiddy
  3. a box of matzoh
  4. two baked potatoes, thinly sliced (i used a mandolin)
  5. a couple cups of baby spinach or 1 box of frozen chopped spinach
  6. alfreda sauce from the book vegan with a vengeance

spray or brush that pan with olive oil. put a little bit of water (2T worth) at the bottom of the pan and lay your first layer of matzoh. i used a rectangular dish, so 2 matzahs covered the bottom. next put some alfreda sauce, then one layer of potato slices, then some spinach, more alfreda sauce, then another layer of matzoh repeat the sauce, taters, spinach and sauce, then top with last bits of matzah and remaining sauce. cover with foil (very important detail! this keeps everything from drying out) and bake for about 30-35 minutes.

what's matzoh?

easy answer for the goyim: a big assed cracker.

lengthy answer: the bread of the afflicted. matzoh was given by pharoh to the israelites during enslavement as rationed gruel because it was cheap and he could feed them less because it was 'filling'. jews eat this bread for this reason and to also symbolize having to motor outta egypt after the last plague carrying unleavened dough on their backs that made matzoh. during passover, jews eat tons of this stuff and refrain from 5 main grains: wheat, barley, rye, oats, and spelt. jews of ashkenazi descent further restrict their diets by not eating kitniyot-(little things) which includes rice, corn, beans, and other legumes. this can be a hellish time for vegans, because this means no soy. sephardic jews-(jews of middle eastern and spanish descent) do not have to adhere to the kitniyot rule. i have found myself getting very creative over the years by making a dish very similar to this, except for using pasta sauce in place of the alfreda sauce to avoid soy. if you're vegetarian, this is easier to make because you can use eggs or dairy, but what fun is that?
there's another rule about how one isn't supposed to get matzoh wet, but i figure that i'm doing enough by giving everything else up, so i'll get it wet if i wanna.

Monday, June 29, 2009

my greatest vegan accomplishment: seitan tikka masala

i did the unthinkable.

i made a VEGAN seitan tikka masala and it was so awesome, i about had a coronary! seriously folks, i wanted to cry.

in pregan days, chicken tikka masala was one of my favorite dishes. it's chicken in a heart-attack inducing tomato cream curry sauce. well, i've been craving indian food, couldn't stop thinking about it, so instead of giving in to temptation--i set out to make it myself. here's what i did.

1) i used lord seitan's seitan recipe. note: when you click on that link, it'll take you to an awesome rollergirl website. click on lord seitan's bio and BLAMO! you have the recipe. lord seitan is a very nice guy who is part of the deep roots animal sanctuary that hosts a monthly vegan potluck at our local anarchist bookstore. he has been vegan for many years and i find him and his significant other-(look at bio of skater Terror d'Bits for the Flatliners) to be vegan inspirations of sorts for me.

i've been stuck on using the one on the back of the wheat gluten box, and have been kind of bored with it. i wanted to try something different. i made half a batch of this and once done threw it in the oven for an extra 20-30 minutes at 350 to get the texture really chewy and meat-like.

2) i searched many recipes until i found one that i liked that i could veganize. the best one was on yahoo! answers of all places! here's the vegan makeover:

seitan marinade-(this is VERY IMPORTANT!)
  • 1/2 batch of lord seitan's seitan (0r your fave recipe), enough for 2-4 servings
  • 1 6oz. container of plain soy delicious COCONUT yogurt
  • 1T fresh lemon juice
  • 1t cumin powder
  • 2t coriander powder
  • 1t paprika
  • 1/2 t turmeric
  • 1t cayenne pepper
  • 1T fresh minced ginger (tip: peel, chop, and press via garlic press)
  • 2T minced fresh garlic (through garlic press)
  • 2t salt

whisk ingredients in a shallow container. put yer seitan in and evenly coat. stick in fridge to absorb all the yummy goodness while you make your sauce

masala sauce (this is very good alone, btw!)

  • 2T earth balance
  • 3 cloves of garlic run through a garlic press or grater
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, de-seeded and finely diced
  • 1 small white onion
  • 6 oz of tomato paste PLUS 6 oz water whisked
  • 1 c. plain silk creamer
  • 2 t cumin powder
  • 2 t paprika
  • 1 t garam masala powder
  • 1/4 c chopped cilantro
  • 1 T fresh chopped mint
  • 1 t salt to taste
  • 1 t black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 t cayenne pepper

put some bollywood music in yer cd player to get in the mood. melt butter in saucepan. add your onion, garlic, and jalapeno pepper. add the spices and continue to stir. add the tomato paste/water to the mix. add the silk creamer. simmer for a few minutes and let cool. once warm/room temp, put in a blender and add your fresh cilantro and mint. puree until very frothy. this is important. pour back in pan and cook a little more. add the marinated seitan-(make sure to throw all that marinade in there too!) and simmer for a bit. serve over basmati rice. i wasn't feeling ballsy enough to try to make chapatis, so i cheated by buttering and browning kangaroo white flatbread.

Friday, June 26, 2009

product review friday: amy's samosa wrap

you'd think after my misadventure with amy's products last week, i'd steer clear from any food in pocket form. well, you're wrong--because technically this ain't a pocket. the package says "wrap", but it's just a burrito. a better-than-average burrito loaded with some tasty indian spiced potatoes, peas, and tofu. and it's vegan!

so yes, amy--you've redeemed yourself. i'll give this baby only one turntable and a microphone. it's not totally awesome, but hits the spot if you don't have the time or cash for indian food. the price is middle of the road-(i think we paid $1.80 for it at kroger's), which is definitely cheap compared to a restaurant.

it lacks the crispy crunchy shell of a true deep fried samosa, but i think that could be remedied by brushing the exterior with some oil or melted EB prior to baking-(i didn't do this). this would probably rock with some mango chutney, but i didn't have that either. yes, you'll have to take the time to bake this wrap. microwaving it will more than likely give you a soggy shell. i wrapped mine in foil, and put it in the toaster oven at 400 for 35-40 minutes, and it was cooked perfectly. yes--that does take time, but i was at work and had the time. i ate mine with some spiced quinoa topped with some curried spinach. sorry i don't have pictures of that.

happy weekend!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

hunka hunka burnin' smooth

man, i got too much shit to do today, and she's almost done! so one of my favoritest bloggers evar ms. bianca made the elvis cupcake. well, i call this the elvis smoothie!

you'll need:
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1.5 generous heaping non-measured tablespoons of your favorite PB
  • 1 c. of vanilla soy yogurt-(hint: i pour mine into ice cube trays and freeze)
  • 1c. of apple juice-(or soy milk, but i like juice better in this case)

put everything in a blender and go to town. don't forget to wear your blue faux-suede shoes.

thank you, thank you very much.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

belated father's day post

i celebrated father's day this year by making a special breakfast for my spouse. he's my best friend in the whole wide world and a helluva dad. what do you make an awesome dad for pappy's day? chocolate chip brownie waffles from veganomicon, of course!

the recipe called for pecans, but all i had were walnuts. it didn't matter. they were still really, really, really, really good. shown above and below are my waffles topped with more walnuts, a touch of maple syrup, and some soy peach yogurt. peaches and chocolate? yep, they go together just fine.
did i mention these were really tasty? i imagine this would taste awesome as a dessert with a big ol' scoop of soy delicious on top.

ps: i've been eating so many sweets i've considered naming #2 chip if he's a boy and cocoa if she's a girl. guffaw!

Monday, June 22, 2009

do you have diabetes?

if you don't have the diabetes now, you'll have it after you have one of these babies. momma has been craving no-bake cookies and i found the following recipe on the post punk kitchen:

i believe this is username esme's recipe:

2 c. sugar
1/3 c. cocoa
1 stick earth balance
1/2 c. non-dairy milk
1/2 c. peanut butter
3 c. quick oatmeal (I usually use regular thick oats and they're yummy)
1 tsp. vanilla

Melt margarine; add sugar and cocoa; add milk. Bring to a rolling boil; boil for 1 minute. (This is important to do so that the mixture sets up once you form the cookies.) Remove from stove. Stir in rest of ingredients. Drop by teaspoon on waxed paper. Stick them in the fridge.

these are VERY good, but as you can see VERY sugary. that's why it is super important to have these with a nice glass of ice cold non-dairy milk of your choice. do not be surprised if you run around your house talking like a coked up used car salesman.

Friday, June 19, 2009

product review fridays: amy's tofu scramble (in a pocket)

jim gaffigan said it best when he talks about food in pocket form:
and many prepared food companies both vegetarian and omnivorous have designed an edible form designed to be nuked in a micro sleeve and all of them pretty much taste like crap wrapped in greasy toast. then i saw this in the freezer section of kroger on sale. i figured, hey--my review for product feature friday!
because i have an extensive pregan history eating food in pocket, bar, and shake form--i wasn't expecting anything great, and i'm glad i wasn't. this wasn't awful, but i wouldn't suggest getting it unless it was in the super-duper-discount bin for a nickel a piece. the scramble is mediocre at best and the bread pocket that surrounds it isn't flaky or crusty at all. it probably would have tasted better had i deep fried it or baked it in a conventional oven. but my rationale is this: if i had time to use either one of those methods, i surely would have made something else to eat. meal in a pocket type foods were exclusively designed to cook in the micro and burn my taste buds. i managed to save mine this time, thank g-d or i would have been even sadder after ingesting said product.
while the small sammich packs an 11g of protein, it has less than one gram of fiber-BOO! bottom line: stay away from this product. make your own tofu scramble, wrap it in some pizza dough or your own home made pie crust, and freeze for later baking. some convenience foods just aren't worth the time.
you are better off eating one of her other vegan options: brown rice and vegetables. then again, you can make that at home kids.
tout le weekend!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

i got a sweet tooth the size of tey-has

man is it HARD to balance mommyhood, a full-time job, and playing in the kitchen. when the day is over, i'm exhausted. but i'm never too tired for chocolate cake. this is an old photo, before the morning sickness really kicked in. it's a manischewitz chocolate matzoh cake veganized. i love passover cake and could easily eat it for all 3 meals during pesach, but i don't feel like going into a sugar coma. when the passover goodies go on sale at kroger, i buy an extra box or three and will even eat it after the holiday is over, it's that good. note: if you feel like cheatin' and don't wanna slave over following a recipe, most commerical cake mixes can easily be veganized using non-dairy milk where reg. milk is called for and using one of the many vegan egg replacers out there to replace the eggs. for those of you who don't know-(i do have omni or veggie friends that read this) here are egg replacers:

  • a mashed overripe banana
  • 1T flax seeds ground in a spice mill or coffee grinder + 3 T of water. it makes a goey egg substance
  • 1/4 c. pureed silken tofu
  • NRG egg replacer-(it's just potato starch folks!)

my favorite in baking is the banana, which is what i used for this passover cake, because soy is prohibited during that time. it made the cake extra moist and bananaey. if you don't want your baked goods to taste like nanners, i like using the silken tofu or flax seed approach. i'm pretty neutral about NRG egg replacer. for cookies, one hardly ever needs an egg replacer unless the recipe calls for it.
yeah, yeah--if you're a dedicated reader of PITA vegan, you know i've used this photo before. this is one of the examples of cookies which don't require any eggs at all. it does call for a 1/2 c. of vegan butter and 1/2 cup of oil, and i'm pretty sure that's how they stay together. this cookie recipe is from vegan-a-go-go, and is very crumbly, but less crumbly than the recipe from vegan with a vengeance. i take the dough and press it into cupcake tins, so i get big ol' thick adorable cookie cups that can easily be topped with ice cream if i feel like it. the kramer recipe states it makes 6 large cookies or 12 smallish cookies, but that's so wrong. i can make about 15-18 cookie cups, and i'm not skimpy about how i fill the cupcake tins either. if you're worried that you'll eat them all, i suggest freezing some, because they hold up well in the freezer. when you want a cookie, get one out and defrost it or nuke it for about 12-15 seconds.

Monday, June 15, 2009

what thai-p of noodles do you like?

i love pad thai. paddy-paddy-pad-pad thai. but the real stuff has fish sauce and eggs in it. i've made my own version that tastes even better. it ain't 100% pad thai, it's actually more of a peanutty noodely chili-lime bowl of goodness, but it closely parallels the traditional dish.

the hardest thing about my cookin' is i don't write recipes. i eyeball damn near everything, so i'll tell you what i put in it, and if you're lucky you can come up with an approximation:

  • package of rice noodles
  • 2T chunky PB (any kind will do, even the sugar packed stuff)
  • about 1/3 c. of mae ploi sweet chili sauce (0r your favorite brand) found in asian aisle of grocery store or at your local asian market
  • 1 T apple cider vinegar
  • lime juice
  • chili powder
  • red pepper flakes
  • chopped cilantro
  • dash of bragg's liquid aminos

in a small saucepan, take your PB, chili sauce, and vinegar and melt over low heat. combine that with prepared noodles-(follow the directions on rice noodle package, dag nabbit! if you attempt to cook noodles in hot water you'll end up with a sticky mess and be pissed and sad.) most rice noodle instructions say to just sit the noodles in cold water for an amount of time and drain. take the prepared noodles, sauce and mix really quick and fast in a wok for just a few minutes. throw them back into a large bowl and add chopped cilantro, chili powder, red pepper flakes, bragg's and toss until well combined. serve with an additional lime wedge if you feel like it.

subs: i've used other kinds of noodles instead of rice ones and it tastes just as yummy. example: tonight i made a batch of this with cooked whole wheat rotini pasta and it was yummy. the key is getting everything mixed together just right.

good luck, i'll keep my fingers thai-ed for you!

Friday, June 12, 2009

product review fridays

i'm gonna make a regular friday feature: product review fridays. this is because a) i don't always have time to cook so i am on a constant search for quick vegan eats and b) there's nothing like being able to avoid having to be a taste tester and know that you can rely on my stunning reviews so you'll be in the know about what is hot or not.

kashi has gone to great lengths to offer a variety of vegan frozen meals. i believe they are up to six or seven by now. i remember sending them a thank you note for their ranchero beans and begged them to make more vegan meals. could this be an answer to my request? i'm so self-centered, i'd like to think so, but probably not. it is more than likely the collective requests of an awesome vegan spirit.

the price ain't so hot--but i got this baby on sale for $3.50 at kroger's. what i can tell you about this meal is that it is absolutely delicious. the sweetness of the plantains and sweet potato go well with the 7 grain goodness, kale and bad assed ancho chile sauce--(they should trademark the sauce by this very name). BTW, anyone got a good recipe for ancho chile sauce? because i think it is my new favorite condiment. i'm not a calorie counter, but for those that are obsessed with their intake will be comforted to know that it's only 34o. i'm more of a fiber cop and was pleased to see that it has 8g of fiber. most of their vegan options have 11g. we all know that being vegan usually means that we eat enough fiber for 4 or 5 people in one day. sometimes in one sitting.

another thing i wanted to mention is river's awesome kick ass multi-tasking appliance giveaway. so go to her blog and find out more about it. c'mon you need another kitchen appliance.

take care and be good.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

you say potato, i say po-tahhhhh-to

pictured above: spicy sweet potato salad, vegan baked beans,
and a chickpea cutlet-(from veganomicon)

nothing says summer like a good potato salad. regular potato salad has all that mayo and eggs in it so it's not a very heart healthy choice. well, i have a potato salad you can live with--and it doesn't taste like crap.
spicy sweet potato salad (makes 2-4 servings)

you'll need:

  • 2 really big sweet potatoes
  • a small bunch of kale
  • about 1/2 c. of veganaise
  • ms. dash chipotle blend
  • 1T apple cider vinegar
  • squirt of lime juice to taste
  • sea salt to taste
  • chili powder to taste

peel, cube, and boil those taters until tender. drain. in a separate pan, wash, chop, and ever so slightly steam the kale. drain that too. mix the taters and kale with the veganaise, vinegar, and ms. dash. add the lime, salt, and chili powder to your specs. you could also use some sweet chili sauce in place of the ms. dash if you feel like it and it would taste fine. i served mine with the baked beans and the chickpea cutlet-(which i had stored several cutlets in the freezer pre-morning sickness and was pleasantly surprised i had them during a freezer purge!) FYI: the chickpea cutlets hold up really well in the freezer, so if you ever make that recipe from v-con, know that you can stash a few in there and they come in handy for other meals. i like to eat mine with a little yellow mustid.

thanks so much for the love and support dear readers. it's so nice to be back and i got all misty eyed with the congrats, support, etc.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

NEWSFLASH! I'm baaaaaaack. Now lettuce shoot the salad.

hi everyone! so to answer the million dollar question of, "where in the hell has that pain in the ass vegan gone for the past two months?" well the answer is.....

PREGNANTVILLE! population me. well, me and and a fetus. i'm about 15 weeks along and due at the beginning of december. now, i was late for my last kid, so i'm banking on being late again which means i'll have a baby with my latkes this year for chanukkah.

so if anyone knows anything about being pregnant, then you know that there's morning sickness. no--not the crapola you see on t.v. when someone gets sick a couple of times then happily basks in the glow of knocked upness for the rest of the day. i'm talking violently ill from the time i got up until the time i crashed every night for about 8-9 weeks. i'm just now feeling better.

during this sickness i didn't want to cook or eat. and i didn't want to eat the things i loved most: veggies and soy products. the thought of consuming any vegetable, smelling any onions, garlic, cinnamon, coffee, or anything with a potent aroma made me vomit. i was so sick, i actually have lost--not gained weight. this sickness meant no kitchen duty for me. i didn't even want to look at food porn. how depressing is that?

this also meant i wasn't (confession time!) vegan. i had to eat whatever i could keep down. some of this is stuff that is so gross, i'd rather not mention. ever had ensure? the most disgusting stuff on earth. soooooo, if you want to be a vegan douchebag and judge me for my shortcomings because of something completely out of my control and a force of biology, then fuck you. read no further. i don't think vegan douchebags really read this blog anyway, but i thought i'd place that disclaimer just in case i have lurkers. my non-vegan eating was and has been a very dark time for me that i'm not proud of. if you ask my spouse, he'll tell you i've cried more than once about this and have beat myself up over having to be flexible. this was something i wasn't prepared to deal with. some women can have completely vegan pregnancies-(which i tried to do) good for them. i was someone who couldn't do it.

but i'm back, transitioning slowly--testing what my body can take. pictured above is a taco salad i made on sunday. it is super easy to make and the perfect summer dish. here's what i did:

  • different kinds of lettuces (i used some store bought and some from my garden)
  • chopped carrots
  • cuke slices
  • a chili-type topping: i used a mixture of a can of red kidney beans, some left over vegan chili, cumin, chili powder, garlic granules, and a dash of liquid smoke
  • on top of mount chili i added some salsa and guac
  • served with corn chips
now below is a picture topped with some creamy vegan cilantro dressing:
the dressing
1/3 c. veganaise
1/2 c. tofutti cr. cheese
1/2 c. water
2T apple cider vinegar
1T lime juice
some shakes of ms. dash chipotle flavor
some onion salt
1/2 c. fresh chopped cilantro

put in a blender until smooth. use within 4 days. this recipe def. needs some tweaking, as i found it to be too runny.

glad to be back, everyone. i've REALLY MISSED YOU ALL.
what's your favorite kind of salad to eat? i need quick summer meal ideas.