Saturday, February 23, 2013

Cookbook Review: Artisan Vegan Cheese by Miyoko Schinner

Well peoples, it is known that vegan cheese is actually tasting fucking awesome these days thanks to Daiya... No more vomit smelling unmelting cheese looking objects need to be used in a vegan kitchen... Shit, if you have been vegan for awhile like myself, you have probably long parted ways with needing cheese in your life (I would leave it out of vegan recipes calling to add vegan cheese cause it would pollute the shit out of a perfectly legit dish)... So anyways, there is this pretty new and amazing DIY vegan cheese cookbook out now called Artisan Vegan Cheese... I enjoy this cookbook and I really think Miyoko has some brilliant ideas on how to form some legit texture (It is like a science experiment!!) but I think another book is due to perfect these genius ideas... I would say all the cheeses I have tried in this book are either ok or pretty good, my favorites have been the Meltables: Muenster in particular I will continue to make and Monterey Jack. I don't think I could convert someone to ditch cheese with this cookbook but it is fun for us vegans to play with :) Daiya Wedges on the other hand are conversion material!

Boursin (Flavored with parsley, nooch, garlic, tarragon, thyme, and marjoram): FUCKING SICK, first try...

My favorite thus far: Meltable Muenster!

Delish on crackers!!! Slices well, great texture :)

Meltable Muenster actually melting on some Yellow Garlic Rice :)

My bff Jessica's fave: Smoke Provolone (I liked the taste and not the texture, would have preferred something firmer), good with crackers but I can only tolerate so much liquid smoke in my life

Incorporated some in some mediocre Mac & Cheeze (I can just blame the whole wheat pasta on this... blech)

Meltable Monterey Jack has a texture that is pretty spot on :) a bit firmer would have been perf (Seemed a lil wet)

Made a veggie sammie with some sliced Monterey Jack (AWESOME)

Made some Quesadillas (EVEN AWESOME-ER)

I also made the Sharp Cheddar and did not enjoy it (Texture) and the Meltable Cheddar which was not right texture wise but tasted fine in quesadillas (Pictured above and in the glass dish below)

Overall great book, amazing ideas, looking forward to her next!



Friday, February 22, 2013

Vegan Grubbin at Sipz Cafe in San Diego

Whenever I protest in San Diego, CA (Typically against Bloomingdale's (Fur) and Sea World (Slavery) our after-protest-grub-fest has always been at Sipz! Love this place TO DEATH... It is Asian/ Thai themed vegan food with some awesome baked goods as well :) I recommend this place with my heart and soul! Oh ya and after 5pm (At the location I frequent) they serve VEGAN SUSHI (Please don't piss your pants!)

Thai Tea

Vegan Crab Rangoons 

Tangy Orange "Chicken" with steamed broccoli added and served with white rice (Did I mention, health reasons are the lowest on my vegan priority scale: FUCK YOU BROWN RICE)

Carrot Cake & Red Velvet Cupcakes

One happy stuffed vegan here... Can we protest again soon please?! ;)




Thursday, February 21, 2013

Cookbook Review: American Vegan Kitchen by my friend Tamasin Noyes

Tamasin Noyes is a doll, always there to answer questions quickly and always supplying my tummy with yummy vegan food. Last week, I made it a point to cook from her book American Vegan Kitchen (AVK) because I have been lazy in general with my cookbook usage and quest to try to recipes. I enjoyed EVERY DISH I MADE... That is not typical for me AT ALL so obviously Tam's knows wassup.

I made both of her Seitan recipes, Savory Seitan (Beef-y) and Seitan Light (Chicken-y), and was pleasantly surprised with both! I enjoyed the new technique I hadn't tried: Baking the seitan in broth, it was very easy! Pictured above is the Savory Seitan. I made a stirfry with it by thinly slicing the seitan, shaking it in a bag with a little corn starch to coat it, fried it up, added a little TJ's Soyaki Sauce and some sliced bell peppers and onions. PERF AS USUAL :)

Above is the Seitan Light.. Looks like chicken breasts! Thankfully it is not!

The Seitan Light I made to incorporate into her Seitan Katsu with Tonkatsu Sauce (OMG DELISH!!!!) This is pictured above and I can't wait to use the other half of the Seitan Light batch to make this again! The seitan was coated with panko crumbs and fried up, then served along with some Asian style slaw and topped with homemade Tonkatsu Sauce. A must try in this book!

I also made her Breakfast Sausages to use in her Country Skillet recipe. They reminded me of pepperoni almost! These used the steaming method to cook seitan, which has been my favorite method for awhile now. 

The Breakfast Sausages went into Tam's Country Skillet recipe. I really liked her idea for cubing the tofu in the skillet, instead of all crushed up in a typical scramble. I actually prefer this way now and think I will be using cubed tofu in my tofu "scrambles" going forward :)

With a few of the Breakfast Sausage Links I "slopped" together a sausage and peppers type dish; just heated everything up in a little veggie broth until the ingredients were cooked to my liking and seasoned with a little s&p.

In conclusion this is an AWESOME cookbook. Please support my homegirl Tamasin and buy her books!!! Apparently she has a few cookbooks in the works that I can't wait to get my greedy little hands on... Here is her blog Vegan Appetite in case you are not paying attention to it already! She is extremely generous with the amount of recipes she shares for free on her blog!



Sunday, February 10, 2013

Online Recipe Reviews: Buffalo Tofu Sammies, Melty Cheese, Cauliflower Poppers, and Pad Thai

I love the internet and I love saving trees whenever possible by looking up online recipes and refraining from printing them out to add to my massive "Online Recipe Book/Binder"... I learned how to cook this way and met some awesome vegans in the process! was where I got started (I don't log in much anymore due to some fucked up viruses that are supposedly not an issue anymore) and learned the skills I needed to be self sufficient :)

The 2 pictures above are of a Buffalo Tofu Sandwich (I had leftover homemade buffalo sauce from Spork Fed that needed to be used up)... Can't even imagine store bought slathered on this but my bestie said these were amazing even with the store bought buffalo sauce!

Melty Cheese from VegWeb is my go to "Nooch" sauce... Love me some vegan nachos... Sinfully delicious always! I almost prefer it to Daiya sometimes as I prefer homemade grub :)

Cauliflower Poppers from VegWeb are also a staple at the pad... You seriously know you are awesome when your drunken munchies consist of cauliflower... LOVE THIS RECIPE... Don't even measure anymore... Something to remember: If there is too much liquid left in the pan when the cauliflower is done cooking dump it out near the end and brown the cauli a little. (I have been pan frying these a lot more recently than roasting because it is quicker)

Lastly, Pad Thai! Love 2 recipes, one of which my future husband, The Vegan Zombie, created and the other HERE (Which I photographed). 



Friday, February 8, 2013

Gardein Review: Beefless Tips & Burgers

Veganism has hit the mainstream homies and there ain't no looking back! I remember the days when vegan hamburger patties tasted like um, VEGAN HAMBURGER PATTIES... Like, you couldn't serve that shit up to a meat eater and be like "Surprise!!! I bet you had NO CLUE that was vegan!!!"

I think they would laugh in your face and thankfully, I never attempted such idiocracy, I just said, "Hey, this is a veggie burger, and it tastes pretty good and isn't disgustingly bad for you and nobody got hurt." :)

These days are different my friends with GARDEIN... I swear on my life you could pull a fast one with these... AND PLEASE wait until they finish and say how damn good their burger was before you, "Share the good news" and laugh in their face! Kidding, but only sorta... I admit that mock meats and other prepackaged vegan food is expensive compared to what I usually eat, but I feel like overall (Once you build up a spice collection) veganism is VERY CHEAP... Your diet consists of fruits, veggies, nuts/seeds, grains, and legumes... Also, a pound of organic tofu at Sprouts costs me 99 cents and is cholesterol free and full of protein (8 grams a serving and about 32g's a block) and I can buy a bag of Vital Wheat Gluten for about $6 and make over 3 pounds of Seitan (Wheat Meat)... I think vegan "Meaty" options are much cheaper and healthier when compared to animal products.

ANYWAYS, here in So Cal, Gardein products are about $4... The Tips are about 2 hearty servings (IMO) and the Burgers come in a pack of 4.

My friend Melissa got me hooked on the Tips!!! They are magical pan fried with some olive oil and accompanied by homemade mashed potatoes and balsamic-maple glazed purple onions (Thinly slice some purple onions, cook them down on medium heat in some olive oil until translucent, add balsamic vinegar and cook down some more, add maple syrup and cook down until liquid has evaporated for the most part, plop on top of mashed potaters).

The Burgers are out of this world!!! Just pan fry them in a little oil and serve them up with all the fixings which for me are Vegenaise, grilled onions, lettuce, tomato, and ketchup :)

Friday, February 1, 2013

Crack is Whack... Ditch the Cow Cheese and Switch to Daiya BITCHES

So before you get all Micro-Vegan on me STFU and focus on the big picture: Plant based vegan cheese is better than dairy cow cheese.


Ok let us begin... Once upon a time Daiya only had these goopy things known as SHREDS, they stuck to your teeth like glue... About a year later these magnificent little blocks called WEDGES came out and vegans everywhere wet themselves in sheer delight... THEY ARE JUST LIKE CHEESE... WE HAVE CONQUERED THE ONE THING that prevents all the weaklings from taking the full plunge into veganism... CHEESE!!!

And now the Vegan Police came marching in: BUT DAIYA WEDGES HAVE PALM OIL OFF WITH THEIR HEADS... Well bitches, Daiya is "trying" to find a replacement because they know vegans are pissed about palm oil... Let's get Macro-Vegan for a sec and think about it: I would rather support people getting off the CRACK COW CHEESE and going plant based instead of knocking everyone for the palm oil thing... Yes it is fucked up but it is plant based and it is vegan as far as I am concerned...

Anyways... I bought all 3 blocks a little bit ago... Mainly, to share some with my vegetarian coworker who really "wants" to go vegan but can't kick the cow cheese... Guess what? She loved Daiya and thinks veganism is possible now because of it... I see that as a victory personally.

Daiya Wedges come in Cheddar, Jack, and Havarti :) WE VEGANS HAVE IT SO DAMN HARD, I KNOW ;)

Cheddar: Mac & Cheese HANDS-DOWN you are a kid again, eat your little vegan heart out!!! I just precook the pasta and when I am ready to eat a serving I heat some Daiya with a little plain plant milk till it starts to melt and add in the pasta... Few minutes tops!!! I even ate WHOLE WHEAT PASTA AND IT WAS GOOD (That is major for me my friends)!

Here it is (above) with some roasted butternut squash :)

Jack is also good in Mac & Cheese but Cheddar is best... YES I DIPPED IT IN KETCHUP... As 2 Pac said: "Only God can judge me"... THUG LIFE HERE IN SO CAL

But I mainly love it in Quesadillas!!! I love Quesadilla Sammies with Hickory Tofurky Lunch Meat, Daiya, and some shredded lettuce once it is off the heat!!

Look at the gooey deliciousness above! Heaven!

My least fave for Mac & Cheese was the Havarti, it is heavenly though in quesadillas and just with crackers too!!! All these wedges are bomb quesadilla or cracker dipping status...

Moral of the story: Don't Micro-Vegan the shit out of your life, focus on the finish line, the end goal so you don't go insane in this un-vegan current living situation we have to live in... Do your best! And if Daiya wedges fill that void for you for animal cheese I APPLAUD YOU!!! Eventually though, like myself, you will probably just get over the need for cheese and view items like the ones mentioned as a special treat :)