Monday, October 31, 2011

MOFO Day #31: SEASON FINALE Give Your Heart To Eric

First of all, I LOVED reading everyone's epic kitchen fail stories. It was a tough call to make, and I chose Beth and her bombed beer bread brick. Beth, send your information to There's nothing worse than trying to win a crush over with food, gross them out, and have them laugh at you. It's much like a vampire ripping your heart out and slurping on it like a juice box.

Which brings me to the MOFO 2011 Season Finale of True Grub. If I were a vampire, I would never bite anyone's neck, I'd only do 'em in this way. The whole thing was so awesome I watched it over and over a few times. I was on a crusade for the rest of the month to think of how I could recreate a vegan heart and give it to myself for Halloween.
An apple a day! Get a big one. REALLY BIG!

Core out the middle and scoop out the seeds. I imagine a melon baller would be great, but all I had was a knife and spoon.

Hmmmm--will this work? This was starting to look like a fail. I have a degree in art. Surely I should be able to make a human heart out of an apple. Think, Jen--THINK!
Think outside the apple: I made a mixture of vegan graham cracker crumbs, food coloring, peanut butter, POM juice and a banana. The results were so badass, Alan Ball called me and asked me to quit my job at the garden center and work as a writer/special effects assistant.
Coming together nicely, ain't it? I soaked some dried cherries in warm water and rolled them like a snake to get my dark red veins.
Crude, yes. Think about it--have you ever seen a heart look all nice and neat when pulled out of someone's chest? I didn't think so. I filled the apple with the remaining POM juice.

It was so tasty! Substantial snack and drink all at once. Happy Halloween, y'all and thanks for reading this month. Looks like we raised $20 for the animal shelter and food bank. Will I ever give up on my million hit goal during MOFO? Never. It's good to aim high. It forces one to reach out to others and ask for help because no one can do huge things alone unless you're a vampire, and True Blood has shown that doesn't always work for the undead.

I hope you enjoyed yourselves, squirmed some, had a few laughs, and realized that being vegan is a ton of fun.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

MOFO Day #30 True Grub: King of the Bill Cake and a GIVEAWAY!

As far as I know there are three factions in True Blood: Team Bill, Team Eric, and Team Alcide. ((groan)) Thanks from the bottom of my black heart, Twilight People.

What's wrong with being Switzerland in this scenario? Much like Sookie, I love all three. Hate me if you must, but I do. Is Bill a douche for what he's done to our little Fairy? Of course he is. He does have his redeeming qualities, he's a much better king than Sophie was queen. Those eyes. What happened to his sideburns? Is that a no-no in vampire royalty? I decided I'd take on the task of making him a cake--a King of the Bill Cake, which is just Kittee's King Cake recipe. I've been sworn to secrecy, so I cannot disclose the recipe.

Here's what I will tell you: the King Cake is a big ol' ring of cinnamon buns. Imagine making the log of dough and instead of cutting it up into individual rolls, you form it into a big circle. Sounds easy, right? Wrong. There's a learning curve kids, and the final product looked like a half inflated inner tube.

I think I wasn't paying attention to the temperature of warm liquid when I added in the yeast. Or maybe my yeast was bad. I could go on all day about it, but I will tell you that it wasn't a total fail taste wise. I improvised my own filling of cherries and chocolate chips and made some blood sugar sprinkles. It was good to me, but I'm sure a King Cake Connoisseur like Kittee would do a face palm and send me to detention.

So on this day before Halloween tell me about a kitchen fail and you could win a prize. Whuuuut? When I was at Vida Vegan Con, I bought TWO copies of Papa Tofu Loves Ethiopian by Kittee. One was for me, and the other one is for one lucky PITA vegan reader. I had planned to do this much sooner, but I got bogged down with some stuff at home. Sorry.

So get those stories to me by 4pm EST on Halloween.

Yes, I know that's tomorrow. So get to gettin'. Tell everyone you know about this contest and I look forward to reading about your epic fails.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

MOFO Day #29True Grub: Luna's Quinoa Burgers

The scene they didn't show: Luna pitching her quinoa burger to Sam. "It's a protein packed powerhouse." She says. Sam smiles, "I have your powerhouse right here."

Remind me to never write fan fiction.
Luna describes the patty as a slightly spicy blend of quinoa, roasted peppers, and white beans with some spices. Blended together they produce gorgeous orange veggie burger that tastes great plain or with toppings. She served mine warmed in pita halves with some chili and Antonia's Gone Bananas Salsamole.
Don't forget the yam fries and beannaise.

Luna's Quinoa Burgers-To make GF, use GF bread and toppings.

  • 2 c. cooked quinoa
  • 2 c. cooked white beans
  • 2 roasted poblano peppers-washed, seeds removed
  • 2 roasted red peppers, ditto
  • 1 roasted banana pepper, ditto
  • 2 t. onion powder
  • 2 t. salt
  • 1/2 t. paprika
  • 1 t. garlic powder
  • 1 t. oregano

Blend everything in a food processor while you heat up a griddle or non stick pan. Brush the griddle with a little canola oil. The mixture will be pretty messy: not dry, and not soupy--somewhere in between. Take a spoon and scoop tennis ball sized dollops of the mixture on the griddle. Using damp fingers, press down on the patties to flatten them to about 1/4 -1/2 inch thick--don't burn your fingers! Use your spatula to make these shift into squares or circles, your stomach doesn't really care. Cook for 4-5 on one side, flip cook for another 4-5, flip and cook for another 2 minutes. The patties should be crispy on the outside. This mix makes a shitload so you'll probably want to have your oven set to warm (200) and put them in there as you go along. Fix with your favorite toppings on your preferred brand bread. I used pita because a) it was all I had, and b) you don't want to trump the awesome texture and flavor of this burger with a big assed bun.

Friday, October 28, 2011

MOFO Day #28 True Grub: Behold The Pork Rind Casserole

When Hoyt's mamma isn't making her infamous fruit loop pancakes or butterfinger enchiladas, she's perfecting her pork rind casserole. When I heard her offer her culinary skills to Sam during the final episode of the most recent season, I rewound the clip. Pork Rind Casserole? WTF? I'm so on that.

My Alma Matter Interweb Universiteh gave me a brief history: it's a casserole topped in pork rinds. It can be sweet or savory--ew! Most recipes were the things of church potlucks everywhere: something cheesy, something starchy, some vegetable to make it appear healthy, and topped with pork rinds. Simple enough.

I looked high and low online for this crazy snack and found some, but really didn't have it in my budget to pay $6 plus $12 to ship. Sigh. Online businesses. One of my vegan pals mentioned using rice pasta and I dismissed it. Then I started thinking about it, " I do have a ton of rice wraps. How am I going to do this?" I whined. My spousal unit shrugged his shoulders and said, "Well soak the rice wrap, blot with a paper towel and fry it in that vegan bacon grease you made the other day."

What an awesome spouse he is. And seriously, with a mind like that he needs to just go vegan already.

So I did just that.

Fryin' the pork rinds. It does take a while, so you need to be patient. Read a book but do it by the stove, because you're gonna fry the shit out of some rice paper wraps.
Finished product. Of course I tasted them. For the omni and newly vegan set--they tasted all for the world like chicken skin cross bred with pork skin. Salty and greasy.
Casserole comes to fruition: cubed baked potatoes, cheddar daiya, broccoli, onions, creamed corn, plain oat milk, garlic powder, onion powder, and some salt. Topped with vegan pork rinds lightly salted in garlic salt and baked at 350 for about 30 minutes covered, then 10 minutes uncovered.

Did you notice that was gluten free? I hope so.

I did take this to my UU all congregation church pot luck and it was gone in less than 10 minutes.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

MOFO Day #27 True Grub: Covenly Tacos

Benefits of being a witch:
  • Badass Spells
  • Medium powers
  • Best friends with Guys who listen to Stevie Nicks
  • Access to lots of herbs
  • Glowing eyes
  • Lots of holidays to celebrate

Downside of being a witch:
  • Frumpy clothes
  • It sucks being on a broomstick in the rain
  • What if you're not into chanting?
  • That whole Goddess thing
  • Unfaithful followers
  • Ingredients that are probably not vegan
When I was little, I wanted to be a witch in the worst way. I wanted to have powers that made my childhood bullies cry like little bitches, turned people into toads, and did all my homework. I recall emptying my mother's spice cabinet and mixing all of her extracts and herbs, then mushing it with a banana and making my brother drink it. He ended up barfing everywhere and I couldn't watch television for a week. TELEVISION!

Lesson? Being a solo practitioner is a dangerous thing. It is better to work in a group. When these ingredients stand alone, they're kind of lame. When hangin' together in a recipe coven, the flavors do something that is a little crafty.

I bring you, Covenly Tacos

A soft tortilla filled with breaded seasoned eggplant, a touch of daiya, green with envy salsamole, and a little beannaise.
Check it out y'all.

These go really well with Jessica's Virgin Strawberry Daiquiri.

To make the tacos you'll need:

soft tortillas
daiya cheese
1 medium eggplant

Marnie's Eggplant Fries

Breading Mixture
3/4 c. corn meal
3/4 c. oat flour
1 heaping T of Ms. Dash chipotle blend
1 t. paprika
1 t. onion powder
1 t. salt
1/2 t. garlic powder
mix together in a bowl

set aside in a shallow dish:
1 cup plain unsweetened soy milk
2 cap full of AC vinegar
wait a minute or so and whisk

Wash, peel, and slice your eggplant into steak fries. With one hand dip the pieces in your buttermilk, then carefully roll them in the breading mixture with the other hand. Lay on a greased cookie sheet and bake at 350 for 12 minutes on one side, and 15 on the other. You want them to be tender and a little crispy on the outside. If you wanna go big, deep fry them, but I was trying to avoid it. I just can't eat fried shit every day.

Antonia has gone bananas salsamole
1 c. chopped combo of green tomatoes & tomatillos
1 peeled kiwi
1 small onion chopped
3 banana peppers, finely chopped
juice of 1 lime
2 cloves of garlic
1/2 c. cilantro
2 t chopped jalapenos (optional)
pinch of salt
1 c. avocado

Puree the green stuff with the garlic, then add your onion, peppers, lime, cilantro, jalapenos, and salt. This will taste weird on its own, but trust me people it makes the taco work.

Assembling the tacos:

Grill your tortilla with a little of the daiya on top until melty. Add your cooked eggplant, a spoonful or two of the salsamole, and add a teaspoon of beannaise. Feel free to eat while sitting in a circle plotting to bring down the vampire race.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

MOFO Day #26 True Grub: Jessica's Virgin Strawberry Daiquiri

You don't have to be like King of the Bill and make a waywardly yet hot read headed virgin vampire out of punishment by The Authority. Nope. You can make a virgin drink instead.
Seriously, folks. This ain't complicated. This is a glass of cool, refreshing, and sweet strawberry bliss. Just like Vampire Jessica.

You'll need:
1 can of cold ginger ale
1 heaping cup of frozen strawberries
a blender

Can you guess what you need to do? That's right, put the strawberries in the blender, add the ginger ale and make it slushy. Goes well with Covenly Tacos, which I'll talk about tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

MOFO Day #25 True Grub: Amy's Awesome Arugula Potato Salad

I really wanted to make something completely red and raw in honor of Lizzy Caplan's character in season one. I tried making a cauliflower couscous, but that didn't seem sexy enough. Amy is a wacko fer sure, but she has a sweet side. Right before she killed Stephen Root, she said something about being a raw vegan. We all know that vampnapping, draining, and killing the undead isn't vegan. Argue this point with me if you wish, but I stand by my belief. The act of draining is a product of the undead suffering. And using V is illegal.

I'm so funny. I make this sound as if all of this is real.

This salad is very, very real. I'm normally pretty hesitant about making posts about salads because lettuce as the center of vegan cuisine is a stereotype. How could I make this different? I took some fresh arugula and some red swiss chard from my garden and piled on roasted sweet potatoes with T. Marzetti's Simply Dressed Strawberry Poppy Seed Vinaigrette. So easy, and absolutely delicious. The key is to roast the potatoes in the dressing and add just a little bit extra on the salad. Perfection! People will think you went to culinary school to come up with that, but I won't tell anyone you're no fancy pants chef.

I received some of this dressing from FoodBuzz's Tastemaker Program, and thank both them and T. Marzetti for their support of food bloggers everywhere. I called the company and confirmed this particular flavor is vegan. Yay!

To roast the potatoes, simply peel and cube the sweet potatoes, toss in the dressing and bake in a pan at 350 for about a total of 45 minutes. Make sure you turn them about half way through. Because the dressing is olive oil based, they will be a tad greasy, but you can remedy this by blotting them with a paper towel after they cool.

If you don't have sweet potatoes around, I'm positive that roasted butternut squash or pumpkin would make awesome substitutions. If you use the butternut squash, add some walnuts. If you use the pumpkin, throw some toasted pumpkin seeds in the mix.

Monday, October 24, 2011

MOFO Day #24 True Grub: Russell Edgington's Spine Tingler

Is your tired lentil loaf old news? Russell has a suggestion for you.
As he effortlessly removes the spine from the nighttime anchorman on TBBN, he emphasizes the a few crucial points:
  1. During the month of October it is expected to make your dinner look gory. Try taking that veggie loaf recipe and turning it into something scary with some gruesome presentation.
  2. Take care of your back. You'll never know when a crazy assed vampire king will come up from behind and mess it up beyond recognition on live television.
  3. He is not in favor of the Vampire Rights Amendment.

I used this recipe. Really, just use your favorite. Shape into a spine and accent by coating the whole thing with some ketchup and accenting it with red pepper. Go big! Pairs well with mashed potatoes and a nice side salad.

And please, go see a chiropractor.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

MOFO Day#23 True Grub: Favorite Entry?

We interrupt this MOFO Blog with a Voodoo Black Bean Pesto Pizza followed by a question.

It's not that I'm running out of ideas--boy howdy, I have 'em. I'm just running out of time. I'm a multitasking fool and instead of sitting in my underwear blogging, I've been at work all day. Thank goodness Miss Jeanette brought me this pizza. I don't care if she is just a clerk at the local drug store. This lady can make a pie that will make you feel like you've died and been reborn as someone way cooler.

This cilantro pesto paste recipe is here, although it lacks measurements because I honestly just throw a bunch of shit in a blender and it turns out right every time. If you want your pesto to have a little kick, throw a half cup of fresh arugula and a jalapeno in with the mixture.

I utilized pre-made pizza crust from Aver's ( a little over $2.50 for a ball of ready to bake dough). I piled on some black beans, shredded carrots, roasted zucchini, and cherry tomatoes. Finger lickin' good and magical.

So tell me PITA Vegan readers, what has been your favorite True Grub entry so far? Are you prepared for an excellent last week?

Hang on to your spines. That's all I'm gonna say.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

MOFO Day #22 True Grub: Lettie Mae's Hoe Cakes

It's Saturday morning and Lettie Mae feels guilty about shaming me for being Jewish, so she made me up a nice batch of hoe cakes. Vegan, even! Just like Tara says, it's all about the bacon grease. No problem, that can be made vegan too.
I scored some of this at the food pantry. There's an oil for everything. This stuff is super boss and I've used it for a cookie recipe and for the bacon grease for the hoe cakes. Satan himself approves.
As you can see, the trick is just cooking some no-bacon bitz-(tvp with seasonings or store bought) in the oil with a little liquid smoke an sesame oil.
You want the oil to cook for a bit, to bring out the bacon flavor--watch it foam. Cool the oil and drain with a fine mesh sieve.

Look, it's hoe cakes! Pay no attention to The Devil. Lettie Mae will get him on out of your house with a little sage and some singin'.

These soak up the syrup, so make sure you have plenty on hand.

Lettie Mae's Hoe Cakes

Bacon Grease
  • 2 t. sesame oil
  • 1/8 c. macadamia nut oil or some other rich oil suitable for frying-(NOT OLIVE!)
  • couple drops of liquid smoke
  • 2T bacon bitz-(look at the ingredients to make sure it is vegan)

Heat oil in skillet, and add bitz. Cook on medium for several minutes, stirring. You want to see the oil foam. Turn heat off and cool oil, setting aside to apply to the griddle.

Hoe Cake Batter
  • 1 c. corn meal
  • 1 c. sorghum flour
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 1.5 t of baking soda
  • 2 flax seed eggs-(2 T ground flax seeds mixed with 6T hot water and set aside)
  • 1 c. Amande cultured almond milk, or plain coconut or soy yogurt
  • 1 c. soy, almond, rice, --you get the idea. Non dairy milk.

Get your old Staples Singers records out to set the mood. Heat your griddle or cast iron skillet and apply the bacon grease. Mix wet ingredients together with wire wisk. Add wet to dry ingredients and scoop out the thick batter in 1/3 cup increments on your griddle/skillet. Cook on med heat for 3-4 minutes on one side, then another 4-5 on the other. They'll be nice and golden brown. Serve with your favorite syrup. Mr. J. said these reminded him of sweet tamales with subtle tones of bacony goodness. I thought they tasted like fried mush.

Friday, October 21, 2011

MOFO Day #21 True Grub: Talbot in a Jar

Okay, I'll come clean. Eric didn't kill Talbot to avenge his family, I staked him because I'm nowhere near my 1 million US hit goal. I'm pretty sure that staking a vampire isn't vegan. My demented logic tells me so the f*ck what, Talbot's a vampire and could kill me with no remorse. So I had to kill him.

As you know I can't shut up about my 1 million US hit goal for MOFO. It's important to me, because that money is going to charity. So far, I've had around 4,300 hits, and I'm not entirely sure they are all from the US. If they are that's $12 from FoodBuzz for me to give to 2 local charities, which really isn't a lot--but most certainly helps. I know we can do better, people. So start clicking and telling every one of your friends they need to visit That PITA Vegan. I don't think we'll make the million hits, but I'd really like to get as close as possible. Last year, I made $15 and my spouse matched it for a total of $30 to contribute to my local food bank. $1 buys 7# of food I think. Talbot was so gorgeous. Please don't make me kill any more vampires.

Russell doesn't know it, but I secretly replaced his Jar of Talbot with a delicious concoction of eggplant, spices, and tomato paste.
This is a gorgeous, thick, and rich sauce perfect for a Stromboli, sandwich, pasta, or calzone.
I used mine in a savory stuffed pancake. I don't know why I hadn't thought of it before--that was sheer genius. Absolutely Divine.

Talbot in a Jar

  • 1 c. tomato paste
  • 1 c. water
  • 2 t. minced garlic (dried)
  • 1 T. balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 medium eggplant (about 4 c. worth) washed n' diced--yes, you can peel it if you hate the skin.
  • 1 small zucchini diced

Heat oven to three fiddy. Spray a loaf pan with some canola oil spray and set aside. In a bowl mix all of the ingredients with your**clean** hands and pretend you are cleaning up a staked vampire. It's pretty gross. Put the mixture in the loaf pan, cover with foil, and stick that in the oven for about a half an hour. Check on it, give it a stir, and bake for another half hour or until the eggplant is sort of translucent and falling apart---y'know, like a vampire that just met True Death.