Search This Blog

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Vegan Potato Salad

Hey Baaaaaaabes,

Today I am posting my recipe for potato salad! It's definitely not your traditional mayonnaise covered, hard boiled egg and chopped pickle laden pile of mush.  I use baby red and yellow potatoes, boil them until tender and then toss them in a tangy vinegrette of wine vinegar, Dijon mustard and fresh dill.  SOOO tasty and such a nice change from the goop you are used to seeing at back yard BBQ's (my apologies to those who like the tradish variety, you can always add 1/2 cup vegenaise to the dressing instead of the olive oil and maybe a chopped pickle or two if you mussssst).

Potato Salad a la Vinegrette
-1 bag baby yellow fleshed potatoes
-1 bag baby red skinned creamer potatoes
-1/4 cup red wine vinegar
-1/2 cup olive oil
-3 heaping tbsp grainy Dijon mustard
-2 cloves garlic, minced
-1/2 red onion, finely diced
-6 scallions, chopped
-1/4 cup chopped fresh dill

Put the taters in a large pot and fill it with water up to 1 inch above the taters.  Bring to a boil and cook until you can eaaaaasily poke a tater with a butter knife and it comes out eaaaaaaasily too.  Drain the taters.  At this point, I like to halve most of the potatoes and keep some whole for variety in texture.

In a large serving bowl, whisk the wine vinegar, olive oil, Dijon mustard, minced garlic and a bit of S&P together until it had an even consistency.  Add the hot taters and combine weeeelllll.  The potaties will soak up the vinegrette and be soooo happy :)

Chill the potato salad for about an hour in the refrigerator and then add the red onion, scallion and dill.  Season with S&P and serrrrrrve it up!!


Vivacious Vegan <3

Monday, June 20, 2011

Vegan Ceasar Salad

Good Day To All You Sweeties,

Every time I go to a restaurant and ceasar salad on the menu, I cry a little inside.  Ceasar salad is one of my faaaaaaavorite salads EVER and I know I am not alone since ceasar salad seems to be on every gosh darn menu ANYWHERE!  Even Rotten Ronnie's (McD's) has friggin ceasar salad!  Even a large portion of Chinese restaurants in Winnipeg have ceasar salad on the menu!!!  So why do I weep over such a readily available salad?  Why, you ask?  Because while the majority of the classic Ceasar Cardini (creator of the ceasar salad if you didn't already guess that) dressing ingredients are vegan (olive oil, lemon juice, wine vinegar, garlic, S&P, and of course romaine lettuce) the EGG YOLKS that give the dressing its body, the WORCESTERSHIRE SAUCE that gives the dressing its delicate ANCHOVY flavour and the PARMESEAN CHEESE are not not not not vegan at all.  And don't get me started on bottled salad dressings and store-bought croutons, TOO easy to make from scratch and soooo much better homemade!

There is hope for vegans who love this salad!  While you may not be able to order it at resto's, you can easily make a deeeeeeeeeelish vegan version of the salad at home that will impress all your friends who are vegans and friends who are devotees to the bottled variety (shudder!) alike! 

Vegan Ceasar Salad
-1 loaf of French bread, cubed
-1/4 cup veg oil
-1 tsp garlic powder
-1 tsp thyme
-2 heads of romaine lettuce, washed and dried THOROUGHLY, quartered lengthwise and chopped crosswise into bite sized pieces
-2 cloves garlic, chopped
-juice of 1 lemon
-2 tbsp grainy djon mustard
-2 tbsp nutritional yeast
-1 tbsp soy sauce
-1/4 cup tahini (sesame seed paste)
-1/4 cup red wine vinegar
-1/2 cup olive oil
-a few tbsp water depending  on how thick/thin you like it

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees celcius.  Toss the bread cubes with the veg oil, garlic powder, thyme and season with S&P.  Spread the cubes onto a baking sheet and bake until golden, about 10-15 min, tossing them or twice.  Let them cooooool, man.

Put your romaine into a large salad bowl.  Put all other ingredients other than olive oil into your trusty blender and blend until smooth.  Slowly add olive oil in a continuous stream while the blender is running.  Add a few tsp of water if it's too thick.  Season with S&P.

Add the croutons to the lettuce and a few tbsp at a time, drizzle the dressing over the salad and toss, adding more dressing until you have the desired amount of creamy, garlicky goodness coatin the greens. 




Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Seitan Kebabs with Chipotle BBQ Sauce

Hey Loves!

It's been waaaaay too long since I last posted a recipe starring one of my fave vegan proteins: SEITAN!!!!!  If you've just tuned in, seitan (pronounced like 'say-tahn', not like 'Lucifer') is a fabulous meat substitute made from wheat gluten.  Seitan, or 'wheat meat', is high protein and fat free and has a creepily meat-like texture.  It is also waaaaaay too easy to make at home!  Check out this recipe here - you can find vital wheat gluten flour at Bulk Barn :)

Bee and I hosted a little BBQ (take THAT Mr. Cranky Neighbor!) the other night and served up some seitan kebabs with a DELISH and super easy home made BBQ sauce.  Seriously people, don't bother buying BBQ sauce in a bottle.  It's always better home made and its SO EASY!!!  We served up the kebabs with corn on the cob, potato salad, ceasar salad (all vegan of course!) and several brewskies :)
                                                    Bee, Buck, CB, ATM & V.V.'s toes :)

Seitan Kebabs with Chipotle BBQ Sauce
-6 Seitan Cutlets
-2 tbsp veg oil
-1 small yellow onion, finely diced
-5 garlic cloves, minced
-1/2 cup ketchup
-1 tbsp djon mustard
-1 tsp cumin
-1 - 2 tsp chipotle chili powder
-1 tbsp Mexican chili powder
-1 tbsp vegan sugar
-1/2 tsp cinnamon
-2 tbsp soy sauce
-1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
-1/4 cup water
-S&P to your taste

Soak six wooden skewers in water for at least half an hour (otherwise they will catch on fire!!!) unless of course you have metal reusable skewers, in which case, proceed to the next step :) 

Cut the seitan cutlets into bite sized cubes and thread them onto the skewers. 

In a saucepan, heat the veg oil over medium high heat.  Saute the onion and garlic until translucent and add all other ingredients.  Bring the sauce to a boil and then reduce to a low simmer for half an hour. 

Oil up either your BBQ or your cranky neighbors' BBQ and crank the heat to high. 

Coat the seitan kebabs with the home made BBQ sauce and cook on the BBQ, rotating every few min and basting with sauce until heated through (prob no more than seven min total). 

Serve with extra BBQ sauce and your fave BBQ sides :)



Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Smoky Corn Soup with Tempeh 'Bacon'

Hello my dearest darlings!

I had to take a short hiatus from my blogging and I sure have missed it!  I hope you haven't forgot about me :( 

Spring has sprung!  After what seems like an endless season of wintery days and cold, dark nights, the sun now shines brightly and the whole city is bursting with greenery.  Winnipeggers especially appreciate this changing of the seasons (we are known to wear shorts and t-shirts as soon as the temp reaches above 0 degrees C) and our menu's reflect the weather:  It's BBQ season, baby! 

Bee and I discovered a working BBQ on the common patio of our apartment a couple weeks ago and made some DELISH grilled corn on the cob with chili oil.  A week later, Bee met the man who actually owns the BBQ and upon asking for occasional use of the Q in exchange for some cash, she was promptly (and rudely) rejected.  Bee figures she can get away with grilling things after midnight ;)
Stay tuned for midnight vegan BBQ recipes (and don't tell Mr. Cranky upstairs!).

Speaking of corn:  Here is a recipe for a yummy yum yum soup that you can make with either frozen or fresh corn right off the cob.  To remove fresh corn from the cob, peel off the green husks and corn silk and discard them.  Then stand the flatter end of the corn up in a large bowl and hold onto the tapered end.  Using a sharp knife, slice the kernels off the cob, starting at the top, in a downward sawing motion.  Try to keep the knife as close to the cob as possible.  And for heavens sake, DON'T SLICE YOUR FINGERS OFF!  . . .Otherwise just go buy a bag of frozen corn niblets :)

Tempeh is made from fermented soybeans, pressed into a block.  It is readily available at health food stores and I have seen it at many grocery stores (including the natural foods aisle at Superstore).  Tempeh bacon is a marinated, sliced tempeh product that makes for a tasty addition to breakfast or vegan BLT's.  I bought a pack at VitaHealth and plan to buy more :)

Smoky Corn Soup with Tempeh 'Bacon'
-2 tbsp veg oil
-1 large yellow onion, diced
-5 cloves garlic, chopped
-1 tsp chili flakes (or more if ya like it spicey)
-1 tsp cumin
-1/4 tsp chipotle chili powder (optional)
-3 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels
-6 cups veggie stock or water
-6 to 8 strips of tempeh bacon, chopped into bits
-1 avocado, diced
-1/2 red bell pepper, finely diced

Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in your favorite soup pot over medium high heat.  Add the onions, garlic, chili flakes, cumin, a sprinkle of salt and chipotle powder (if using) and saute until the onions are translucent. 

Add the corn and cook for a further two or three minutes then add the stock or water and crank the heat to high.  Bring the soup to a rolling boil and then reduce to a simmer over medium low heat. 

Simmer for fifteen minutes and then puree using an immersion blender OR using a slotted spoon, remove the veggies from the broth and transfer them to a blender with just a BIT of the liquid (CAUTION: hot things expand once you turn on the blender and coup explode and burrrrrn ya, so don't overfill!  Puree in bathces if you have to!) and puree the veggies to a smooth consistency, returning the puree to the broth in the soup pot.  Season with S&P to your taste.

Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil in a skillet over medium high and cook the tempeh until it is golden brown and crisp.  Stir it into the soup, reserving some for a garnish.

Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with extra tempeh bacon, diced avocado and finely diced bell pepper.  Serve to hungry friends ;)