Posts

Showing posts from April, 2011

Vegan Pasta Salad with Tofu

Image
Yesterday I had my first foray into using tofu. While I've eaten it from the Chinese take out, this is the first time I've bought it and used it on my own at home. I made sauteed pasta with tofu. I liked it very much with balsamic vinegar dressing. I only dressed it with the vinegar because there was already plenty of olive of oil from the sauteing process. I had meant to take a picture, but forgot. Hopefully I'll remember to add one tomorrow. Am sure there are many vegan pasta salad with tofu recipes out there, but mine is easier because it uses mostly frozen vegetables. Some people look down on frozen veg. But actually it can be healthier than the stuff from your local produce department. Depending on where you live and where the vegetables came from, they may already be old by the time you get them home. Frozen is quick frozen right after harvest to keep its freshness and nutrients intact while it takes the long trip to get to your local grocery and then waits for

Lightlife Taste Tests

Image
So I've tried several Lightlife foods. Smart Deli turkey, ham and bologna style. Lightlife hotdogs too. The bologna style is great. Really great. I love it. Perfect smell, flavor and texture. The hot dogs are also good. Very nice taste. Good scent. Texture, not perfect, but very nice. The turkey and ham, I liked, but did not love. But that is just me. They had their merits. The texture was good. I just thought the flavor was lacking a little bit. IMHO the bologna style is better. I still need to try the fake ground beef. I wanted to try the buffalo wings, but the eggs in the ingredients turned me off. I don't eat eggs. I saw on their website they have all kinds of items I've never seen in my local stores. Sigh. Their veggie burgers look really good. And are vegan from the ingredients listed on their site. Some of their stuff can be expensive. The ground beef is. $3.99 for that little packet seems extreme. But the deli slices and dogs are very reasonable. $2-3

Dear Restaurants

An open letter to restaurants everywhere. Why do so many restaurants think that the answer to satisfying vegetarian customers lies in the use of mushrooms? Mushroom are fine and even great in some cases. There's nothing wrong with a mushroom based meal for vegetarian fare. But it is not the only. Not necessarily the best choice. And vegetarian burgers. Ugh. Some of us want something without egg. We don't all eat eggs. As if it's impossible to make a decent veg burger without egg. C'mon. Put in a little effort. What vegetarians want most of all in their meals are beans, starch, nuts and of course vegetables. In that order. Not that I can speak for all veggies, but I know what fills me up and what tastes good. Beans are where it's at for vegetarian. Mushrooms are fine flavor enhancers, but they are not always a great main ingredient. Please. Please. Please. Won't some restaurant somewhere make a bean sandwich. Or Bean puree sandwch. Or Pasta with beans.

Mashed Potatoes as a Meal (Vegan or Veggie)

Image
I love potatoes. Chips. Baked. Roasted. Mashed. Potatoes are always delicious. Especially when they are on sale for $2.50 for a 5 lb. bag. But what to do with all those potatoes? The really cheap potatoes are not good for baking. They are too small and they don't get tender enough inside with that cooking method. Roasted potatoes are great. And even cheap potatoes come out great. Just use a liberal amount of olive oil and salt to make sure. But the best course of action for cheap potatoes is mashing. We've all had scrumptious mashed potatoes in our life. Some with heavy cream. Some with mounds of butter. But what about olive oil? Have you tried this? Because if you never have, then you need to do so. They will not taste like the potatoes you recall from childhood thanksgivings or Christmases with grandma. But they will taste really good and unique. They possess a flavor profile all their own. Very eastern European. Spicy, but no heat. Ingredients 6-8 small - medium ea

Secret to Delicious Brown Rice

Image
I'm not a huge fan of brown rice. I know that it's good for you. I know I should eat it over white rice. But I struggle with the flavor. It's just sooo brown. I've tried cooking it in vegetable broth rather than water. Didn't help much. Felt like a waste of the broth because the rice still tasted very brown. The only remedy I've found for this is tomato. It can be tomato sauce or canned tomatoes. Just something about tomatoes make brown rice taste really good. Other flavors can be added and they are actually discernable. I don't know why, but brown rice loves tomatoes and tomatoes love brown rice. Once you complete that combination anything is possible. The other day I made spicy brown rice with jalapeno flavored canned tomatoes. I really like the jalapeno tomatoes. Unlike other flavor varieties of canned tomatoes they have no added sugar or corn syrup and a respectably short ingredient list. Basically just tomatoes, chilis and some salt. Because of t

Vegetarian Pinto Bean Panini

Image
This a toasted roll sandwich that is sure to hit the spot when you want something warm and hearty. It's vegetarian as it uses cheddar cheese, but could easily be made vegan with vegan cheese or remove the cheese and replace with nutritional yeast. Rather than using a panini press I used a frying pan. I split the keiser roll in half and put the bottom into the pan and covered with the cheese first and then the beans. Cover with a lid and lightly toast on low heat. Once bottom is crisp and cheese partially melted (about 2-3 minutes) add pickles and the top of roll then carefully flip, cover again with lid and lightly toast the other side. Once bread is toasty and cheese is melted immediately remove from pan. Slice in half and savor the warm gooey goodness. Beans make a great sandwich. With or without cheese. Bean sandwiches are one of my favorite meals. They are easy to make. They taste great. Are very nutritious and they keep me full for hours. Careful when toasting. Under

More Vegan Snack Foods

Image
In my quest for egg free cookies and cakes I've discovered there are more options than one would first assume. We already know that oreos and nabisco classic cookies are vegan. But wait... there's more! For only $19.95 you too can own your very own vegan cookie detector. It will sound an alarm whenever you're in the presence of egg and milk containing cookies. And will emit a pleasant tone when vegan cookies are close to your lips. No, but seriously, there are more great vegan snacks to be had. Don't listen to Natalie Portman. She's a lame-o. My favorite are nutter butters. Peanut buttery goodness. They are totally addictive. And not a trace of animal products in the sorta long ingredients list. Not exactly a healthy choice, but animal free nonetheless. Nabisco animal crackers are vegan too. Who doesn't love animal crackers? They are delicious and fun to eat. Classic lays and low salt lays potato chips. Crunchy, salty goodness. Mrs. Smith's A

Vegetarian Dirty Rice with Pinto Beans

Image
The knorr dirty rice ingredients either changed or I only just noticed it contains chicken fat. Zatarrain's dirty rice is vegan/vegetarian as of Dec 27, 2011. I recently tried knorr dirty rice. Interesting flavors. It's definitely vegetarian. And almost vegan. It has some milk (less than 2% of ingredients). So, not a bad choice at all. It also has some interesting flavors. I crave interesting and unique flavor since stopping meat consumption about a year ago. The trick with rice packets is to add other stuff to them. To bulk them up and to add texture and flavor. You don't want to eat just a bowl of rice. And you don't have to. Ingredients 1 packet knorr dirty rice mix 1/3 cup frozen cauliflower 1/3 cup frozen mustard greens 1/2 cup canned, rinsed pinto beans Prepare rice packet as per package directions, adding mustard greens at the same time. When rice/green mix has come to a boil, lower heat and cook at a simmer about 4 minutes more. Add cauliflower.

Vegan Sloppy Joe Sandwiches

Image
This recipe isn't a true sloppy joe. It doesn't use manwich. Which is vegan. I just wanted something easier and less expensive than buying manwich and buying fake ground beef. The answer - Hormel Vegetarian Chili. Which is vegan as well. And already packed with beans, vegetable protein and spicy tomato goodness. I made some rice first and then added the chili to the rice. I also added some fresh diced onion and minced garlic. Add warm concoction to a sandwich roll and top with kosher pickle slices and vegan cheese if you have some. Cheddar or american flavor work best. Alternatively you can sprinkle with nutritional yeast and/or hot sauce. This sandwich tastes great hot or cold. Is easy to make. Convenient. Inexpensive. And very filling. There's something very satisfying about eating a sandwich. Just because you don't eat meat, doesn't mean you shouldn't still enjoy the simple pleasure of a hearty and delicious sandwich. Try this one out. I guarantee

Vegetarian Ramen with Egg

Image
Normally I'm opposed to eating eggs, as they tend to be so cruelly obtained. However, I found some eggs that are animal friendly and encourage everyone to do so. Still, even if you find kind eggs, beware of eggs in pre-made foods. Goodness knows where they came from. This recipe is really quick. Ramen are great. They cook so fast. Top Ramen Oriental Flavor is the only kind I'm aware of that are vegetarian. They also happen to be vegan as well. If you're wondering what oriental flavor is, basically it's soy sauce and a few spices. Ingredients 1 pouch Top Ramen Oriental Flavor 1/4 cup frozen multi-color bell peppers 1/4 cup frozen mustard greens 2 cruelty free eggs Ignore the ramen package directions. They are all wrong. Fill a small sauce pan half way with water. Add ramen flavor packet. Break noodle brick into about 4 pieces. Add noodles and mustard greens to pot. Set on med high. Bring ramen to a soft boil and then simmer for about 4 minutes. Meanwhi

Quick Cuban Vegetarian Sandwich

Image
This is a quick, tasty and hearty sandwich perfect for breakfast, lunch or for dinner with some soup. Minimal ingredients and simple preparation make this especially convenient for those in a hurry or just lazy. It's also probably lunchbox safe in most temps. Ingredients 2 slices toasted bread 1/4 cup black beans 3-4 slices raw yellow onion 4-6 slices kosher dill pickle 1 slice vegetarian american cheese (borden for example) 2 cloves diced garlic (optional, but highly recommended) First, most american cheese slices are not vegetarian. Sad really. Borden specifically answered my query and attested that all there cheese is made with microbial enzymes. Beware other american cheese slices. Contact the company to find out before purchasing. Second, garlic can be a pain to dice in a hurry. That skin can be stubborn. When I'm in a hurry for some fresh garlic I'll utilize one of two methods. You can use a garlic press. It's quick and easy. Smoosh the clove in the p

Vegetarian Rice a Roni Herb and Butter

Image
The rice a roni flavor herb and butter is lacto-vegetarian. It contains some milk products, but no eggs or animal stuffs. It has a surprisingly good flavor. It's quick and easy to make a complete meal from a box of flavored rice. And it can taste outstanding as well. Ingredients 1 box rice a roni herb and butter flavor 1/2 cup frozen mustard greens (spinach, collards or kale are fine too) 1 cup canned, rinsed black beans In a large sauce pan, add the amount of water indicated on the rice a roni package, plus 1/4 cup. I never add the butter or margarine. I don't taste any benefit from it. You can add if you like. But don't add the extra water if you do. Add flavor packet and rice. Set on high and cover. Bring to a boil. Personally, I never do the recommended saute first thing either that rice a roni calls for in the directions. I've tried it and don't see a difference. Better just to make the rice without the extra steps. Tastes as good and is less effort. On

Always Saute Your Pasta

Image
The secret to delicious pasta is to saute it. Restaurants do it all the time. Why shouldn't we. Whether you plan on topping it with tomato sauce or something else, for optimum flavor saute your pasta in its sauce. It doesn't have to be a project or a fuss. You can boil and saute your pasta in the same one pan. All you need is a big giant skillet with high sides. To boil your pasta fill it about half way. Cover and bring water to a boil. Add pasta and boil uncovered for time denoted on package. Drain with a slotted spoon to a large storage container. Set aside. Return pan to burner and heat sauce, oil or other mix ins. Add pasta back to sauce mix. Saute in sauce mix for 5 minutes.

Some Vegan Snacks

Image
It can be hard to find cookies and snacks that don't contain eggs or dairy. But they do exist. Oreos are vegan. I like the all vanilla ones, but that's just me. All flavors are safe. Nabisco makes some oatmeal, iced oatmeal and snickerdoodles that also are. They come in the red package shown in the pic and are crunchy and delicious. For a salty snack try low salt lays potato chips. They taste beter than the full salt classics, which are also vegan. I just like the low salt. They taste better. I've been wondering if animal crackers are vegan. Dunno. But have been wanting some and need to look into it. Does anyone know if they are?