Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Summer Summer Summer Thyme

There is something about summer that makes me want to enjoy all of my meals outside with an ice cold beer.  Yesterday, my partner took me to Hung Phong Oriental Market which he frequents when buying supplies for the family restaurant.  I was in heaven!  Out of curiosity, I strolled up to the freezers and discovered a large array of vegan goodies!  Shrimp! Fish! Tofu! Chik'n!  So many options.  I grabbed two packages of King Prawns with one goal in mind: Vegan Shrimp Boil.

Crawfish boils were a regular part of my childhood.  When I was in middle school, our next door neighbor was from Louisiana.  All summer long, he'd go on these fishing trips and return with crawfish to boil.  He'd cook up a big pot, and dump it on a table in the backyard where the entire neighborhood lined up to grab a piece.  We ate with our hands and all that spicy boil juice got everywhere.  It's decades later, and I've been vegan or vegetarian for so much of my life that this is the first time I've had a boil in over 20 years.  What a way to usher in summer!

simple. delicious. nostalgia.
Vegan Shrimp Boil
This is easily adaptable when it comes to ingredients.  If you don't wanna search for vegan shrimp, use some steamed tempeh or extra firm tofu.  Hell, even some really sturdy beans or more veggies would work!

3 quarts water
12 oz beer, optional
4 Tbsp coarse sea salt (or to taste)*
3 oz boil-in-a-bag mix (Zatarain's)
2 Tbsp Louisiana style hot sauce
1 tsp cayenne, optional

1 large white onion, quartered
1 full head org. garlic, sliced in half skins on
1 bay leaf
1 lb mini red potatoes (1 inch dice if mini cannot be found)
2 ears of corn, sliced into four
4 vegan sausage links, sauteed and sliced
1 lb vegan shrimp**
1 lb cremini mushrooms
1 large lemon, sliced

Garnishes:
Parsley, minced
Lemon wedges

Pour water, beer, salt, boil-in-a-bag, and hot sauce in an 8 quart pot.  Add onion, garlic, and bay leaf.  Bring to a rolling boil. Add potatoes, and boil for 5 minutes.  Add the corn and sliced sausage links into the pot.  Boil another 5-7 minutes.  Afterwards, double check to make sure the potatoes are tender before adding the final ingredients.  Add lemon, shrimp, and mushrooms.  Boil another 3-4 minutes, until mushrooms are cooked.  Let cool while you prep your table.

Drain well.  Serve up on a table covered in newspaper or parchment with lemon and fresh parsley.  Enjoy with an ice cold beverage of your choice!
Photo Credit: Nooch Vegan Market
* I used half Himalayan and half sea salt.  It's a lot of salt but it doesn't stay on the boil for long.
** Vegan shrimp is pretty easily accessible these days.  Whole Foods stores around the country regularly sell Sophie's or Vegetarian Plus.  I used the Vegan King Prawn featured above.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

VeganMoFo IX: Chunk and All That Funk

Yo.  This cookie is spectacular.  This cookie is gonna kick all other cookies in the face.  This cookie is a perfect blend of sweet and savory.  This cookie is my homage to one of my favorite movies of all time: The Goonies!  Let's just skip to the part where I tell you that Chunk is one of my favorite characters and the Truffle Shuffle is absolutely my favorite moment.  Without further adieu...

perfectly chewy.  perfectly adult.
Truffle Shuffle Chocolate Chunk Cookies
(makes 2 dozen)

1 cup non-hydrogenated vegan margarine
¾ cup granulated sugar
¾ cup brown sugar, tightly packed
1 Tbsp arrowroot powder
¼ cup non dairy milk
2 tsp vanilla
2 ¼ cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 ½ cups chocolate chunks
3 Tbsp freshly minced rosemary
truffle salt to taste

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.  In a large mixing bowl, cream the margarine and sugars with a hand mixer.  Add the arrowroot, non dairy milk, and vanilla and mix until smooth.  Sift in the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.  Mix on low until just incorporated.  Fold in the chocolate chunks and fresh rosemary.  Roll dough into a ball using ⅛ cup for measurement.  Place 6 cookies on a sheet and slightly flatten with your hand.  Sprinkle with a small pinch of truffle salt.  Bake for 10-12 minutes, until edges are golden.  Cool on the cookie sheet for five minutes, and then transfer to a cooling rack.

retro or retrNO?
Oh, and since today is technically retro recipe day, I thought I'd show you a crappy photo of what I ate for dinner last night.  In keeping with the retro theme, everything was prepackaged because I'm a working woman with NO TIME.  Haha.  White cheddar Earth Balance mac and cheese, California blend frozen vegetables, Beyond Meat chi'kn cooked in garlic coconut oil and rosemary.  Totally yum.  Totally meat, veg, carb.

This ends another entry!  If you try the cookies, please let me know how they go.  Happy MoFoing!

Saturday, September 5, 2015

VeganMoFo IX: Holler at that Sangwich

I figure it was time to finally, I dunno, post for my favorite time of year: MoFo!  It has been far too long since I have been able to geek out and read blogs until my eyes bleed.  I'm in the process of packing to move across country, so this will be a very interesting month.

So, playing catch up...the next few blogs will feature double days because I was having some technical and memory difficulties.  Haha.  Day 3 was all about that easy steezy.  One of my favorite things about living in California is that I can find vegan food all over the place.  In fact, many places feature what I like to call "mixed company" menus.  This is perfect because I happen to be dating a carnivore.  The other day we were in the mood for some food when we realized a local pizza joint was open again after a long renovation!

I, naturally, went with the supreme vegan for my quick, easy, and delicious meal.  What is easier and more delicious than vegan pizza...made by somebody who isn't me?!  Featured on that pizza...vegan sausage, vegan cheese, onion, zucchini, bell peppers, tomatoes, and mushrooms!  Yes.  Supreme.  Yes.  Delicious.

so many veggies
Now, when I think of the most perfect foods...it goes: breakfast, pizza, and sandwiches!  There is no such thing as bad in those categories.  Only great and slightly less great.  I really could not think of my favorite sandwich, so I'll list my top 5 (no order).

1. Native Foods' Oklahoma Bacon Cheeseburger- It's got that bbq sauce, ranch, seitan, tofu bacon...all that chedda', sucka.  I love it.  In fact, I based one of my favorite tv themed mofo entries off of it!

2. Tortas- Now these babies can include almost anything.  Main thing you're looking for is fresh ingredients and bolillos!  One of my favorite ways is my Eggplant Milanesa version, but I also love grilled portobello mushrooms.  The possibilities are endless.

3. Breakfast Sammich- Bro.  You don't even know.  This combines, like, ALL of my favorite things.  I remember being a kid and eating these.  Now I fry some tofu, sizzle up that Upton's Natural's bacon seitan and slather on the goodness.  My breakfast sandwiches always have cheddar and some sorta jam.  I like to play around with whether it goes on an English muffin, bagel, or plain ol' toast.

4. Grilled Cheese- This is the fundamental sandwich.  I feel like most people know how to make this and pb&j before any other sandwich.  It's quick, comforting, and always delicious!

5. Cookie Sandwich- Finally, we have that sweetness.  I love cookie sandwiches!  Especially...oatmeal cream pie!  No joke, I was eating this beast from Native Foods earlier and had to suppress the urge to run around singing.

hollaaaaaaa...ain't no stoppin' me
That's all for now!  Tomorrow, I'm gonna have to let my soul gloooooow...  Stay tuned.