Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Smells Like Cherry Spirit!

Cherry Chocolate Nirvana
Everything Tastes Better With Marilyn!
      In honor of the (almost) 20th anniversary of Nirvana's "Nevermind" album, I salute the Aberdeen three-piece. I could tell you about the time when I went to Bill the barber with the cassette insert of the Nevermind album, and asked Barber Bill to cut my hair like Kurt's, a hairstyle I kept for most of high school. Or about the time I was grounded and my mom, in the ultimate punishment, banned my radio privileges so I went to the mall and bought "In Utero" and listened in secret. Sorry, Mom! And then at Kurt's death, the message, "You Will Never Be Forgotten" that I posted in my bedroom windows, the scrap book I kept of all the press clippings, my little shrine. Oh, and the time, I took my little brother on a stroll on the boardwalk to find a shirt that printed Kurt's suicide note, only to have my worried mom find us an hour later. Sorry again, mom! Luckily, there isn't an evidence that I possess of these events. What I can offer is a delicious smoothie that tastes like Teen Spirit, whatever that means.

The Get Healthy, Go Vegan Cookbook: 125 Easy and Delicious Recipes to Jump-Start Weight Loss and Help You Feel Great    The recipe comes one of the great organizations out there, Physicians Committee For Responsible Medicine. PCRM has been on the forefront of promoting a plant based diet based on health reason as well as leading the charge against medical testing. Their founder, Neil Barnard, has been working on using a low-fat vegan diet as a way to reverse diabetes. Pretty cool stuff! Oh and they have a recipe of the week club email list, which what this recipe is from, as well as a kick start program for a 21 Day Vegan Challenge. Check them out. I wrote about the other recipes that I made The Get Healthy, Go Vegan Cookbook in my four course valentine's dinner post (read it here). The good thing about a PCRM recipe is that you know it's healthy, but don't worry they don't sacrifice taste for health. Now don't come as you are, but go to your thrift store, grab a cardigan and make sure Something (Isn't) In The Way, and put in your favorite Nirvana album to make this rocking recipe. Maybe get a pot of Pennyroyal Tea., too. Okay, I'll stop.
Cherry Chocolate Nirvana Recipe

Makes 1 serving, about 16 oz


1 cups unsweetened frozen cherries
1 banana
1/2 cup plus 1/4 cup chocolate rice milk or low-fat chocolate soymilk, 

OR 1/2 cup plus 1/4 cup vanilla rice- or soymilk and 1 tablespoons cocoa powder

Put all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth.

*Variation: Use frozen strawberries instead of cherries, and/or low-fat chocolate almond milk, if available. You might also want to leave out the cocoa and make a vanilla cherry nirvana smoothie!
Nutrition Information | Per serving (1/2 recipe)
calories: 145; fat: 1.2 g; saturated fat: 0.2 g; calories from fat: 7.4%; cholesterol: 0 mg; protein: 1.7 g; carbohydrate: 34.8 g; sugar: 21.2 g; fiber: 3.3 g; sodium: 33 mg; calcium: 126 mg; iron: 0.6 mg; vitamin C: 10.7 mg; beta-carotene: 44 mcg; vitamin E: 0.8 mg
Recipe from Food for Life instructor and PCRM staff member Jill Eckart, C.H.H.C

Check Out These Older Posts:

Happy Brett Day! Help Brett Raise Money For WoodStock Animal Sanctuary In His First Marathon Run!

Read It HERE

Cooking With Bell Organic: 
 Baked Tofu Smothered in Peanut Sauce with Steamed Vegetables Along with Spicy Peanut Rice and Citrus Collards with Raisins Redux 

Read It HERE

 Rocking The Shamrock Shake:

  Read It And Recipe HERE


Cooking With Compassion Over Killing:

Pine Nut And Basil Seared Gardein "Chicken" Over A Bed Of Brown Basmati Rice And Gingered Kale

Read It HERE 

Friday, August 12, 2011

Kickin' It Korean Style

Spicy Korean Tofu with Pear Slaw
Over Brown Basmati Rice Surrounded by a Broccoli Forest
      My mom used to get Vegetarian Times way back when in a pre 9/11 world, but I was always unimpressed with the recipes because they mostly replaced animal flesh for milk and eggs, mainly eggs. It wasn't until they featured my now deceased favorite restaurant Philadelphia's Horizon and some of it's recipes that I got to have a second look. I was impressed! They seemed to make an effort on the vegan front with maybe half or more of the recipes being vegan. Lately, they have been focusing on cooking techniques such as braising in the latest issues. I'm lucky enough to have an awesome mom, who subscribed me for two years so I have a slew of recipes that I'm looking forward to. Thanks, Mom!
Spicy Korean Tofu
Triangles Make The Tofu Taste Better!
     Originally, I made this the way I made the tofu like I did for the Peanut Sauce recipe for my Cooking With Bell Organic Post, which uses soy sauce and vegetable stock instead of oil, but I think it made the recipe too salty. I would pan fry this recipe in the future. If I had more time, i would try to locate gochugaru, which is a red pepper powder. The Pear Slaw was an interesting twist that balanced the heat, which I might turn up a notch.      
  Spicy Korean Tofu Recipe 
*****try to use organic and fair trade ingredients*****
1 TBS roasted sesame oil
1 package of extra-firm tofu (try to find one of the four bean brands HERE)
3 TBS low-sodium soy sauce or tamari
1 TBS gochugaru or (1 1/2 tsp of red pepper flakes, I used the flakes)
2 tsp maple syrup (or fair trade sugar)
1 tsp rice vinegar 
2 green onions
2 cloves minced (about 2 tsp)

NOTE: If serving over rice, start it right away because the recipe comes together quick, maybe 20 minutes
1) Press the tofu, and cut into 8 or so rectangles and heat the oil in a pan, add tofu and cook 7-9 minutes each side until golden brown.
2) Whisk together soy sauce, gochugaru (or red pepper flakes), maple syrup/sugar, vinegar, and 3 TBS water in a small bowl. Stir in onions and garlic. 
3) Pour sauce around tofu, reduce heat to medium-low, cover and cook 5-7 or until most of the sauce is absorbed. Flip tofu halfway through cooking
Pear Slaw
 Pear Slaw Recipe (from Vegetarian Times 2011 September Issue)

1 Bartlett Pear, sliced into matchsticks ( 1 1/2 cups)
1 tsp rice vinegar (I used apple Cider Vinegar)
1 tsp toasted black sesame seeds *

toss pear match sticks with vinegar and sesame seeds. ( I abandoned the match sticks and just cut them into pieces). Serve over tofu triangles, brown rice and whatever veggies float your boat and enjoy!

note: if your sesame seeds aren't toasted, put them in a dry skillet over medium heat for a few minutes until fragrant. With white sesame seeds it's easier to tell, but the black ones make it harder to tell.

Monday, August 8, 2011

It's A Bird, No It's A Plane....No It's A Seabird!

Seabirds Soar To Salt Lake
     Just like those famous seagulls that rescued the pioneers from hoardes of crickets, Seabirds rolled in Salt Lake to save us from...well, I'm not sure, but I bet you didn't know that seagulls are Utah's state bird. So it all makes sense that Seabirds Food Truck picked Salt Lake to fly home to. Just to prove how serious, we Salt Lakers take seabirds. Look at what monuments we erect over our streets.
Seagull Arch 
Downtown on South Temple?
      That should be enough proof. So you know how excited we were to have Seabirds in town for two days as part of their quest as the best in the Food Network's The Great Food Truck Race. They're even nominated for the best food truck in the 2011 Veg News' Veggie Awards (but I have my heart set on local business Union Street Eats, though Seabirds is deserving and would get my second vote). I've heard about this truck before when Kevin from went to an LA beer fest and was wowed with their beer battered avocado tacos. Still in a daze from his wowing, but no longer in LA, Kevin went to work replicating what he had at Seabirds and posted the recipe HERE. So the night before Seabirds came to town, I had visions of beer battered avocados dancing in my head, but alas it would not be. 
California Cheesesteak
Peppered Jackfruit, Grilled Onions, Nacho Brew Cheese with Sweet and Sour Slaw
     Because of the television show and it's producers, everything was hush hush and the second hand word on their location and hours would have to spread over twitter and facebook. Big thanks to Cakewalk for spreading the word! (Cakewalk is nominated for best vegan bakery in the same Veggie Awards. Please vote for them!) Because it was a powder day, I was up on the mountain and missed lunch (and the hour long lines), but I managed to snag dinner (after an hour or so wait). Despite the wait, exasperation and impending hunger, the food was worth it! Although, I didn't get beer battered avocado tacos, I did snag one of these jackfruit tacos, which introduced me to the world of jackfruit. (I have a jackfruit pulled pork sandwich that I made, which I'll post shortly. Union Street Eats is even offering a jackfruit barbacoa taco with tequila lime sauce. Jackfruit is seriously amazing.). Actually, I ordered one of everything. My small contribution to help bring accolades to a vegan food truck and another vegan business beating traditional ones. (Just see this post on Sticky Fingers Bakery.) I know, it's a tough life, but the lemongrass corn chowder might have been the best soup that I've ever had. Here's the rest of the Seabirds sampling that I had, minus the rice bowl I had on the second day. Rumour had it pizza was on the dinner menu, but I couldn't get to their new location. Damn meal on wheels!
Lemongrass Corn Chowder
With A Hint of Coconut?
California Black Bean Chili
Topped with Sliced Avocados and Chiptole Sour Cream that went M.I.A.
Truffle Cauliflower
Lunch Menu
  Seabirds Rode Into the Sunset...
    If you're in the Southern California area, follow Seabirds on facebook or their website for their latest locations and maybe one day they'll find their way to your town and be legends, just like our salt lake seagulls. 

Seabirds Mobile Truck on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Candle Cafe Comes To Your Freezer!

Candle Cafe Goes Frozen!
The Miso-Stir-Fry Isn't Pictured Because It's M.I.A.
      With the recent closing of Philadelphia's Horizons, it's a toss up between Blossom, Millennium or Candle 79 for the best veg restaurant in the country. You can vote for your favorite as well as Union Street Eats for best vegan street cart and Cakewalk Baking Company for best vegan bakery in Veg News 2011 Veg Awards HERE, not that I'm trying to influence the vote or anything. Even the prizes from a vegan Caribbean Cruise and a Vitamix look awesome! Did I mention I saw Woody Harrelson dinging at Candle Cafe? So maybe a celebrity endorsement is enough to buy your vote. 
The Candle Cafe Cookbook: More Than 150 Enlightened Recipes from New York's Renowned Vegan Restaurant     Already, I've been a fan of The Candle Cafe Cookbook especially their recipe for cornmeal crusted tempeh.  Since I'm sandwiched between the two coasts, I was excited to see Candle Cafe expanded to the freezer case. I know, I'm being lazy, but there are some days that cooking just isn't an option, especially with the summer heat. I plan on updating more cheater day ideas in the coming days. So Stay tuned (or bookmarked, is that the proper internet lingo?). 

 Tofu Spinach Ravioli
Cheesy, Tomatoey, and Deliciousy! My Favorite!
     There are four flavors miso stir-fry, vegan macaroni and cheese, seitan piccata with lemon caper sauce, and tofu spinach ravioli. For the cheese varieties, I'm pretty sure they're using Daiya, but the ingredients list doesn't mention them specially. Each are $5.99, feature organic ingredients and, of course, are vegan.  Though, right now at the Trolley Square Whole Foods in Salt Lake, the entrees are on sale for $4 until 8/16 (and you might find some with a $1 off coupon still left on them). Honestly, I'm not sure I would pay full price for these, but if you're stuck at work, these would make lunch something to look forward to so this sale is a reason to stock up. 
Seitan Piccata With Lemon Caper Sauce
With Brown Rice And Spinach, Included In The Entree.
     The tofu spinach ravioli is my favorite followed by the Seitan Piccata, which is the best nutritionally speaking, except for the high sodium (around 37% DRV) found in all of them. My only complaint is that the corn strach isn't organic so it might be genetically modified since something like 97% of corn is a GMO.  I'm waiting to hear back from the company. Oh, you might also find some of Candle Cafe's desserts in the refrigerated section. I haven't tried them, because I've been too busy consuming Cakewalk treats, but they're on my to-eat list. Red reviews of them from the Vegan Junk Food site. Part 1 and Part 2.
 Vegan Marconi and Cheese
Spiral Pasta!

Seitan Piccata With Lemon Caper Sauce (Packaged)
Photo Taken Right After Coming Out Of The Oven.
 Tofu Spinach Ravioli (Packaged)
Photo Taken Right Out Of The Oven.

Candle Café on Urbanspoon