Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Attack Of The Long Beans!!!

Pad Prik King (Red Chile and Ginger Stir-Fry)
     My first love was Chinese food, but after moving to Salt Lake I've fallen in love with Thai food, especially curries. It seems that the rest of the city is in love with Thai food as new restaurants keep pooping up. I saw this recipe in the Salt Lake Tribune and decided to veganize it. The original recipe is from Lesli Neilson's Cuisine Quest column and calls for shrimp and fish sauce. Not only are shrimp kinda gross their production causes environmental and economic problems for other countries (See THIS  article in Mother Jones). So instead, I decided to sub for pan-fried tofu and replaced the fish sauce with soy sauce. If you want to be more authentic, 30 Minute Vegan has a fish sauce recipe that I've yet to try. I've also made this with yellow and green curry, because I have extra in my fridge, but red is definetetly better. The best thing about this recipe is how easy and quick it comes together. This recipe will be on my short list for a quick meal with short time.
Long Beans
     Long beans also called yard beans, because they tend to be about three foot long. I'm a sucker for incorporating new produce into my meals so I jumped on the opportunity to include these. However, they were grown in china and I'm not the biggest fan of chinese produce. Instead, I would prefer a local and organic version so after I used them up, I switched to organic green beans, which work just as well. For a local source of curry paste, kaffir lime leaves and long beans, try the Southeast Asian Market. Last time I was in Whole Foods, they had kaffir lime leaves, both fresh and in a jar.
Pad Prik King with Tempeh
Ingredients (try to use organic versions, if available):
1 14 oz package of extra firm tofu, pressed and pan fried or baked
1 TBS of vegetable oil
1-2 TBS of red curry paste ( Taste of Thai and Maesri are vegan, I used 2 TBS)
4 kaffir lime leaves, rolled up and cut into shreds
1 1/2 cups of yard/long beans or green beans
2 teaspoons of fair trade sugar
1 5.6 oz can of coconut milk ( I used half of a 14 oz can of Whole Foods Organic)
2 teaspoons of soy sauce (or a vegan fish sauce)
cashews (optional for garnish and deliciousness)
1-2 teaspoon of minced ginger (optional, but not really)
thai basil (optional, for garnish and deliciousness, Osage Farms makes an organic version)
cooked brown jasmine rice (Lundberg makes a good one)
If making brown rice, start it now! this dish comes together pretty quick, maybe 10 minutes. 
In a small bowl, mix up the coconut milk, soy sauce and sugar. Then, set it aside. 
In a wok or a large frying pan, heat up the oil over medium heat and then add the curry paste (and ginger is using) and cook for a minute or two, trying to break up the paste while cooking. 
Add the kaffir lime leaves and yard beans and cook for about 3 minutes.
Add the precooked tofu and cook for 2 minutes. 
Add the coconut, soy sauce and sugar mixture to the pan and cook for a minute or two (if using the thai basil add to the pan). 
Hope the rice is cooked and serve over brown jasmine rice. top with cashews and more thai basil. now rub your belly and pat your head.
Replace the tofu with Tempeh (I recommend Organic Soy Tempeh from Turtle Island, which can be found at Cali's Natural Foods), steamed for 10 minutes
Replace the red curry with green or yellow versions, which have less heat, but read the label because some companies have shrimp paste in them.
Yardbeans Deconstructed

Monday, June 20, 2011

Sage's All-You-Can-Eat Pizza Night Paired With Red Rock's Paardebloom

Cheeseburger Pizza
 Since 2002, Sage's Cafe has won "Best Vegetarian" restaurant in City Weekly's Best Of Utah. That's nine years straight. Not much has changed on the menu since I moved here five years ago. The menu is fairly static, except for the lunch and dinner chef's special. However, Sage's shines on their Tuesday's All-You-Can-Eat pizza and salad night. Although they tend to use their own homemade nutritional yeast instead of the amazing Daiya, the pizzas they come up with are still awesome. This is demonstrated with the cheeseburger pizza pictured above. From Pad Thai to dessert pizzas, the pizzas are always inventive and unique. It's not something you would find in your local pizzeria.

 For $12.75, you get as much pizza and salad you can eat. Something I took literately on my last visit. I wrote down a list of the pizzas I ate, but I ended up losing the piece of paper so I'll try to do my best to recreate the names. Perhaps, it was the Paardebloem ( a collaboration beer between Red Rock and New Belgium) beer from Red Rock Brewery that I washed down the pizza with. Oh, and for more vegan pizza options check out my guide to vegan pizza in Salt Lake. One more secret that I'm willing to part with is try to get there around 5 p.m. when the pizzas start flying out of the oven. Not only will you most likely not have to wait, but the pizzas fly out of the oven faster than you can eat them. Just make sure you save room for the Tiramisu, one of the best deserts I've had from a restaurant.

UPDATE: ReDirect Guide's ISaveGreen is offering a coupon for a free dessert with the purchase of an entree. Get the coupon here.
Carrot Butter with Daikon and Spinach
     Carrot butter is one of the best appetizers that Sage's offers. The best is when they use it as a desert pizza since the carrot butter is fairly sweet. I've had a carrot butter pizza with strawberries that was awesome. I've also had a cinnamon roll pizza. One of these days, I'll get around to posting my carrot butter recipe.
Three Cheese Pizza
     I think this one had a nutritional yeast cheese, Daiya mozzarella and Parmesan.  This is one of the few times I've seen Sage's use Daiya. I hope this is a sign of things to come.
Pesto with Butternut Squash
Cheesesteak Pizza (left) and Portobello and Spinach Pizza
Taco Pizza
The I Can't Remember What It Was Pizza
Red Rock's Paardebloom Beer
     Red Rock might be one of the most under rated breweries in Utah. This beer showcases their talents. Instead of using hops, they use dandelions, which is what paardebloem means in Belgian. The result was a nice Belgian style ale with a peachy nose that packed a punch at 9.2% ABV. I'm pretty sure this is sold out, but Red Rock just released the Reve, which is a bottle-conditioned Belgian trippel aged one year on French Oak and inoculated with brettanomyces. Oh, and it packs a wallop at 10.3% ABV. My own complaint is that the brewery is lacking in vegan options so I can't eat there often AND sample their beers. The good thing is that Sage's recently changed their beer menu to feature locally brewed beers from Wasatch's finest from Epic, Squatters, Red Rock and Unita. As if you needed another reason to eat pizza and beer.

Sage's Cafe on Urbanspoon
Red Rock Brewing Company on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Only Kale Can Save Us Now.

Kale Chips
     Kale or Cow? I choose kale, even if I pronounce both the same way. Kevin @ made these for me the first time and I sniffed my nose at them, but after tasting them they were delicious. Not only is kale one of the most nutritious greens, it helps to satiate my potato chip addiction (specifically the Jalapeno ones from Kettle). My Spring CSA from Utah's Bell Organic had me loaded with greens out my ears. I've been eating lots of salads, but I couldn't keep up so I decided to make kale chips to make sure I didn't waste anything. Although, it still feels kinda wasteful to make chips out of kale, I would prefer it stir-fried or gingered like this, this is an easy way to use up your greens. I've tried it with mustard greens as well with similar results. I'll post the pictures after the recipe. Oh, and the title comes from a shirt from Herbivore Clothing Company.
Kale Before Chipping
Make Your Own Kale Chips
gather a bunch of kale, wash and destem (mustard greens stems are easier to eat, however, kale stems become really tough after cooling, though right out of the oven is fine), 
place the kale on a baking sheet and cook for 20 minutes at 400 degrees
remove from the oven and spray with cooking spray
sprinkle with salt and 1 TBS of nutritional yeast
*tip it is easier to coat the kale with the nutritional yeast if placed in a bag.
Mustard Green Chips
 Mustard Greens Before Chipping

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Superlative Cheesesteaks!!!

Philly Seitan Cheesesteak with Daiya Cheddar Sauce, Sweet Peppers, Vidalia Onions, & Vegenaise
Superlative (adj)- of, relating to, or constituting the degree of grammatical comparison that denotes an extreme or unsurpassed level or extent 2 a:surpassing all others b:of very high quality (from Merriam-Webster)

    Well, that makes me feel like my English degree was worth while. I could have just said the best cheesesteak ever, but since I already used that for my tacos I needed something fresh, something meta. And I'm not just being hyperbolic. Oh, and I used to live in Philadelphia so I should get some street cred. And not that Pat's or Geno's bullshit. Philadelphia's Blackbird, the owner used to work at two of my favorite restaurants Philly's Horizons and NYC's Blossom, makes the meanest cheesesteak I've encountered until now. (If you go be sure to try the Cubano, which tops the cheesesteak.)The recipe comes from Cooking With the Vegan Zombie.Since the video continues detailed instruction, I'll post it below (as well as the recipe so you don't have to click back and forth). I'll post my results and pictures after the recipe. I know everyone is into the Vegan Black Metal Chef, but this one actually includes a recipe instead of entertainment or concepts. 

The "No-Killy Philly Daiya Cheesesteak" from Cooking With The Vegan Zombie

-Mix dry ingredients and wet ingredients, then mix both together for seitan:

1 1/2 cup vital wheat gluten
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1/2 cup garbonzo bean powder (or chick pea flour)
2 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tbsp mesquite (I used this Mesquite Marinade because I couldn't find the powder)
1/2 tbsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp turmeric

-Wet ingredients:
1 tbsp vegan worcestershire sauce ( I used Annie's Organic, which Whole Foods had)
1 cup vegetable stock
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp liquid smoke
2 cloves of shredded garlic
pinch of pepper

-add all ingredients together and form a dough. Cut in half and make two logs and place in casserole dish.

-Stock to cook seitan in:
1 1/2 cup vegetable stock
1 diced onion
4 smashed cloves garlic
2 bay leaves
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp chili powder
1 tbsp dried parsley
1/2 tsp thyme
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp molasses
2 cups water
-Heat on stove 5- 10 mins
-Pour in casserole dish to cover seitan. Cover dish and place in oven 350 for 1 hour. Then flip seitan and continue to cook for 1/2 hour uncovered. If still too soft, then cook for another 20 mins.

Daiya cheese sauce
1 cup Daiya cheese (cheddar)
1/2 cup soy milk
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp paprika
pinch of pepper
1 tbsp dijon mustard
Stir it all together over med heat and set aside.

Slice up your seitan, and saute it together with a diced onion and diced poblano pepper. Toast a roll of your choice and add Vegenaise and your seitan saute to it. Add Daiya cheese sauce and you're good to go...Enjoy!
D.I.Y. Seitan (Before)

     If you live anywhere outside of the reach of Ray's Seitan or Wheat Meat, then you really need to make your seitan. Ray's is so good, they don't have a website! I know it sounds daunting, but this is a must. Kevin at gave me my first seitan recipe that I feel in love with, but this one is superb. As far as a local source of vital wheat gluten, I recommend Cali's Naturals. It's the only place in the valley that sells an organic version and for about $5 a pound, which is cheaper than the conventional stuff. This recipe would make a really good pepper steak as well. The secret to this one is all the spices that are added to the broth.
D.I.Y. Seitan (During)
D.I.Y. Seitan (After)
D.I.Y. Seitan (Post)
     I took the seitan logs and shredded them against the weird middle thing on a cheese grater. I've always wondered what that was for. It worked perfectly.
Daiya Cheddar Sauce
     As far as I know, most philly cheesesteak use cheese whiz, which brings back memories, but is kinda gross. This sauce was pretty good especially with the roll slathered in Vegenaise (seriously, don't try another brand). However, this recipe made enough that I was eating a cheesesteak a day for about a week, which was awesome after a long day of snowboarding. After the cheese sauce ran out, I just used regular Daiya cheddar cheese and the result was much cleaner. I can't decide which one was better, but I would LOVE to try both with the new pepperjack Daiya. Oh, and I used regular hoagie rolls the first time, which were okay. For a really good twist, slice up a baguette instead of a roll. The bread seems much studier, too. Oh, and I think I would caramelize the onions, too.

Friday, June 3, 2011

New Music Friday

   Okay, here are some of the latest streams. It's been pretty slow, but the treat this week are the streams (some can be downloaded too) from Sasquatch Festival.
Fucked Up-David Comes To Life
      You might have heard about this band, but not known who they were. Nearly everywhere the band is mentioned the band's name is partially blanked out. In fact, the NY Times reviewed one of there shows, but couldn't print the band's name. Regardless, Fucked Up are on of the most interesting hardcore punk bands out there. They started out as a traditional hardcore band with a slew on seven inches, but expanded their sonic landscape with 2008's "Chemistry of Common Life". Three years later, Fucked Up return with perhaps their most ambitious release. Clocking in at 1 hour 17 minutes and 55 seconds, "David Comes To Life" is a musical narrative with four acts focusing on love, lose, tragedy, guilt and rebirth. One character is even named Octavio, consider it Shakespeare in musical form. "Queen of Hearts" sets the stage with melodic and upbeat music with the barely distorted guitars front and center behind the gruff vocals of Pink Eyes aka Damien Abraham. One of the most interesting releases, even if I can't exactly follow along to the narrative. Follow along HERE
Arctic Monkeys-Suck It And See
     The former internet buzz band continues with their fourth release. "Suck It and See" maintains their British invasion, but in a toned down way. The songs feel more relaxed than previous efforts. The first two songs wouldn't be out of place at a 50's high school dance. It's not until "Brick by Brick" that they pick up the pace, at least until two minutes into the song where they launch into a barbershop quartet repeating the chorus. The whole album has this retro feel to it. Check out the stream HERE.
Sasquatch Music Festival
   Festivals seem to abound. There are too many to know, and most aren't near me so I don't pay much attention. However, NPR comes through with  streams and some downloads of nearly every act that played this year. From Black Mountain, Wye Oak, Modest Mouse, Flying Lotus, S. Carey, Wilco, Black Joe Lewis and more. You can now enjoy the festival without the the crowds. Here is the complete list of streams.
Also Notable...
     Remember the Melvins? They have a new live album recorded at the Busta-Guts Club in California. It can be streamed here. Black Swans return for another found of folk-folk for their fourth release, check it out here. Guided By Voices front man Robert Pollard releases a solo album, stream it here. Black Lips return with some garage rock, complete with horns for "Arabia Mountain". These songs would be fun to drink to. Stream it here. Saves the Day has a new single out called "Living Without Love". Stream it here (scroll to the bottom). It's been years (decades?) and Chris Conley still has that nasally prepubescent voice. weird.

Upcoming Shows for Salt Lakers

      6/4-Young Widows playing Burt's Tiki Lounge ($?, sorry I can't find a price)
      6/15-Thursday and Taking Back Sunday at In the Venue ($27 tickets here)
6/16-Okkervil River plays Urban Lounge with the awesome poppy punk Titus  Andronicus($15)
      6/18-Ray Lamontagne plays Library Square ($36) 
      6/18-Black Lips   Urban    $14.00
      6/25-Meat Puppets Urban  $14.00

      7/19-Blitzen Trapper   Urban   $14.00

Tickets prices are mostly listed if bought from Slowtrain, which is the cheapest way to get them. Plus, it helps support an awesome record store. 

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

An Ode To A Beth

Working Blue (Ginger Cupcake with Peach Filling & Blueberry Frosting)
     Beth is one of those friends you make once in a lifetime. She's helped me with my grad school application, made a Sponge Bob Square Pants sling when I crashed my bike, sent me a box of Liz Lovely cookies and too many others to name. Added to the list she sent me a box of these award winning cupcakes from D.C.'s Sticky Fingers Bakery. Oh, and she's the reason I started to take pictures of what I cook. I'm  involved in a food photo war with her. It's like the Cold War, but food photos instead of missiles. I know dangerous. She recently upped the ante with a video. If you ask nicely, she has a secret video of making banana whips, which is banana ice cream with one ingredient- bananas. 
   I kinda feel like I'm cheating because Cakewalk is so delicious but I'm a sucker for vegan superlatives, especially when they're edible.
Sticky Fingers Award Winning Amazingiest Cupcakes
    If there is any doubt that vegans do it better. Cupcake Wars is the perfect example. The first season one of my cooking heroes, Chef Chloe, took the first prize for her cupcakes. She even posted the recipes on her website, along with a recent recipe for Chocolate Beer Cupcakes with Irish Whiskey Buttercream. This season Sticky Fingers took the first prize. Both these bakeries beat out traditional bakeries, proving you don't miss anything by going vegan. I'll post a video of Chef Chole's win below since it condenses the entire season down to ten minutes. For season Two, Vegnews talks with Sticky Fingers baker Doron Petersan about the show (read the interview here). The best part about this is that Sticky Fingers sells the amazinest award winning cupcakes online, which is good because I might need to try the Working Blue (recipe here) against the George Caramelin (recipe here). Those were my two favorites. And another thing, these require some assembly. You need to do the icing and stuffing the cupcake. I found cutting the cupcake in half and spreading the stuffing was easiest. Oh and the toppers weren't included. Or if you're more adventurous you can put on your apron and get to sifting with the recipes that I've linked to.
George Caramelin (Chocolate Cinnamon Cupcake with Vanilla Bean Bourbon Frosting, Bourbon Caramel Sauce & Candied Pecans)
     Bourbon in a cupcake? Yes, please! Again, the flavor was very subtle. Find the recipe HERE.
Strawberry Kiwi (Daiquiri Cupcakes with Kiwi Curd, Strawberry Rum Frosting & Strawberry Rum Shooter Garnish)
      The flavors for these were quite impressive. Not overtly over powering, but subtle enough to complement the other flavors found in the stuffing and icing. Find the recipe HERE.
Gilbert Ganache-fried (Chocolate Seltzer Cupcake with Ganache, Banana Frosting & Caramelized Banana)

     This was B-A-N-A-N-A-S times two! Find the recipe HERE.
Cupcake Wars Season One

Sticky Fingers Bakery on Urbanspoon