Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Vegan Mofo #29 - Recipe Roundup!

Alright, here it is folks, my final Vegan Mofo post of 2012. It’s been so much fun, and I’ve really enjoyed not only reading everyone else’s posts - although admittedly I haven’t been able to read as many as I did last year - as well as post for you all the wonderful things I’ve made. I’ve also loved reading and receiving your comments and I’m glad I could inspire you to make some of the sandwiches I featured.

Over the course of this Mofo season I’ve realized a few things and learned a few hard lessons. One is that while I do love sandwiches I certainly can’t eat them everyday. I’m a bit disappointed that I wasn’t able to make all the sandwiches I’d had written down on my list, and I’m disappointed I couldn’t make enough to post 2 sandwiches a day through mofo. I’m also sorry that I wasn’t able to achieve posting a full 31 times during this month but the past couple of weeks have been busy and my stomach really couldn’t take any more sandwiches. Next year if I pick a theme I’ll have to pick one with more variety, and start to prep it a little bit earlier then this year. The other thing I learned is that I much prefer burgers, sandwiches and wraps that rely on simple pantry-staple ingredients. I prefer my sandwiches to be made of pure vegetables or nuts, legumes, grains. I don’t mind tofu, or tempeh, and while I think seitan is just fine every not and then I’m not overly fond of burgers or sandwiches that rely to heavily on vital wheat gluten. I also discovered that more often then not the simplest sandwiches are the most delicious, and by far the most satisfying. Most of the time I found that they kept me full, and sated without leaving me feeling sick or lazy afterwards.

So this has been a fun Mofo of discovery and I’ve had the opportunity to try a few new books, as well as try a few I’ve had lying around here for a while that I never seem to use. It also gave me the opportunity to try a whole bunch of new sandwiches and become inspired.

For my last post of the 2012 Mofo season I thought I’d do a countdown of my top 10 favorite sandwiches I tried out this month. It really wasn’t easy to choose because I dearly loved almost all of them, but I did my best to pick the ones that really blew my mind, there were several contenders but for one reason or another they didn’t quite make the cut.

Coming in at #10 - Celine & Joni's Butternut Lentil Burgers

#9 - Chloe's Double Double Drive-Thru Burgers

#8 - Isa's Tempeh Ruben

#7 - Celine & Tamasin's Protein Happy Quinoa Wrap

#6 - Celine & Joni's Meatfree Balls

#5 - Celine & Tamasin's Tofu Pomegranate Pockets

#4 - Terry's Eggplant Torta Sandwich

#3 - Celine & Tamasin's Navajo Tacos

#2 - Celine & Joni's Hawaiian Benedict

And coming in at #1 is - Jenny & Heather's Black Bean and Corn Mini Burgers with Smoky Paprika Cashew Cheese

So there you have it, my top 10, like I said it was a hard choice to make but I really think these were by far the best. There were a lot of close seconds but these ten really brought a whole new meaning to the word Sandwich. Anyway I hope you enjoyed reading my Mofo adventure as much as I have had in embarking on it, and in reading yours. Hope to see you around next year!

PS: Happy Halloween! I hope everyone has a safe and fun time, and I'll be back tomorrow with a Halloween themed post.

Vegan Mofo #28 Celine & Tamasin’s Mango Butter & Ginger Whoopie Pies...

Vegan Mofo #28 Celine & Tamasin’s Mango Butter & Ginger Whoopie Pies 

The Book - Vegan Sandwiches Save the Day!
The Author - Celine Steen & Tamasin Noyes
The Recipe - Mango Butter & Ginger Whoopie Pies
Page # 167
Difficulty - Easy
Duration - Roughly 30-40 minutes

What Sandwich theme Mofo would be complete without the addition of a dessert sandwich? I’ve already offered you breakfast sandwiches, lunch sandwiches, dinner sandwiches, lite sandwiches, snack-like sandwiches and now I shall give you a ‘sandwich’ fit for dessert.

Now I’ve never really understood the craze over Whoopie Pies. I didn’t actually know what a Whoopie Pie was until I moved to the United States. While I’ve of course tried the standard chocolate vanilla whoopie pie - essentially a soft oreo in my opinion - the classic red velvet whoopie pie, and a peanut butter whoopie pie I thought they were all alright but nothing spectacular. Then I saw this recipe in Vegan Sandwiches Save the Day and thought Mango and Ginger? What a unique and interesting combination. I knew I had to give them a try, and I knew I’d have to make them before Mofo ended.

This recipe does involve a bit of work, but trust me when I say it’s all worth it. To make the mango butter you boil frozen mango chunks, brown sugar, water and lemon juice in a small pot, then puree it in the blender and let it cool. Then you get working on the cookies by combining vegan butter, brown sugar, cornstarch, ginger, salt, flour, baking powder, baking soda and the cooled mango butter. You roll the dough into small balls bake them in the oven then let them cool while you make the frosting.

The frosting like all frosting is super simple. Just powdered sugar, ginger, vegan shortening and vegan butter, vanilla extract and a non-dairy milk of your choosing. When the cookies have baked you spread the frosting over half of them, stick the other half on top of the frosted ones and voila! Delicious, sweet and spicy whoopie pies. Love them! And I have to say they were all gone by the next morning! Whoops!

Vegan Mofo #27- Joni’s Bacon and Egg Breakfast Burger...

Vegan Mofo #27- Joni’s Bacon and Egg Breakfast Burger 

The Book - The Best Veggie Burgers on the Planet
The Author - Joni Marie Newman
The Recipe - Bacon and Egg Breakfast Burger
Page # 22
Difficulty - Easy
Duration - Roughly 30-40 minutes

One morning a week or so ago I was looking for something relatively quick and easy to make for breakfast that would also be delicious and filling. If I could some how manage to find another recipe that would fit into Mofo as well as fit into the parameter of those guidelines so much the better. Half heartedly and not expecting to find anything I picked up my copy of The Very best Veggie Burgers in the world and gave it a flip- through. The picture of the Bacon Egg Breakfast Burger immediately caught my attention. I’d seen the photo before of course, I’ve owned the book nearly a year and flipped through it on many occasions, but something about seeing the picture on that morning had me craving a bacon egg burger.

The recipe is pretty simple. The dough comes together fast and then it needs to rest for fifteen minutes which is no big deal. During that time if you wish you can saute up some onions and peppers as suggested in the book, which is what I did. Once the dough has rested you form it into patties and fry on each side until nice and golden, then you serve on a toasted bun or bagel - bagel in my case, and serve with fixin’s of your choice. I decided to give my bacon egg breakfast burgers a bit of a Mexicali feel and took the suggestion of adding salsa.

I smeared one half of the bagel with vegan mayo, the other half with salsa, added a patty topped it with sauteed peppers and onions then finished it with spinach. Delicious! It definitely had the texture of and egg burger, though I thought the bacon flavor was a bit mild, and it could have used a bit more black salt in my opinion, but with the toppings it all came together really well, and my husband and I devoured these morsels.

The one thing I really liked about these was that they were tofu based rather then gluten-based. They’re simple to make with a block of tofu, all purpose flour, vegan bacon bits - I used home made ones - onion powder, garlic powder, mustard, sea salt - black salt in my case - turmeric and that’s it. Only a quarter cup of bacon bits is used although next time I might be tempted to use a third cup instead.  Over all though these were a really surprising and delicious breakfast, and I think a little avocado would go pretty well with them too!

Vegan Mofo #26 - Celine & Tamasin’s Radish and Creamy Cheese Bagel Sandwiches...

Vegan Mofo #26 - Celine & Tamasin’s Radish and Creamy Cheese Bagel Sandwiches

The Book - Vegan Sandwiches Save the Day!
The Author - Celine Steen & Tamasin Noyes
The Recipe - Radish and Creamy Cheese Bagel Sandwiches
Page # 62
Difficulty - Easy
Duration - Roughly 15 minutes

I like Radishes, I like bagels and I like vegan cream cheese. So when I came across this recipe while flipping through “Vegan Sandwiches Save the Day” I found myself intrigued. I hadn’t really planned to make it for Mofo, but one afternoon before going to work I needed something quick and easy to make for lunch, and since I had all the ingredients this seemed perfect.

The recipe is super easy and you can really whip it up in no time. Toast a bagel, slice some radishes and grab a handful of baby arugula or spinach. I used spinach because I was out of arugula. Then you dice some shallots, raisins, and chives, mix them with cream cheese, ume vinegar, salt and pepper and smear the mixture onto your toasted bagel halves.

The savory slightly sweet cream cheese tastes really good along with the crisp, crunchy radish, and the smooth spinach. It would be equally as good with peppery arugula, and it would be especially good eaten - as the authors suggest - on a sweltering hot mid-summer day. This might not be the most impressive sandwich I’ve made during Mofo, but it is refreshing and satisfying.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Vegan Mofo #25 - Celine & Tamasin’s Bulgur Hummus Wraps...

Vegan Mofo #25 - Celine & Tamasin’s Bulgur Hummus Wraps 

The Book - Vegan Sandwiches Save the Day!
The Author - Celine Steen & Tamasin Noyes
The Recipe - Bulgur Hummus Wraps
Page # 70
Difficulty - Easy
Duration - Roughly 30 minutes

I love these wraps, they are bursting with flavor and full of delicious, nutritious simple whole foods ingredients. They may not sound all that exiting or innovative at first, at least that’s what I thought, but one night I was looking for something super quick and easy to throw together that I could also use for Mofo, and this wrap just jumped out at me. I also happened to be in the mood for something with a middle eastern flavor so this was the perfect choice.

To prepare the bulgur Celine and Tamasin suggest that you place it in a bowl with water, sea salt , pepper, cayenne, garlic, onion powder and lemon juice then cover it in plastic and leave it in the fridge for 2 hours. That was too long for me so I used my tried and true method of preparing bulgur which is to pour boiling water over the bulgur then cover it and let it sit for fifteen to twenty minutes until all the water is absorbed. It’s much faster this way and yields the same result.

While your bulgur is plumping up you can make the hummus. Hummus is something I make a lot and I’ve tried a lot of different recipes and variations, most of them have been pretty damn good but I typically always prefer my own version of humus. For the sake of this recipe though I decided to use Celine and Tamasin’s Hummus and boy was it good! I’m telling you, this is probably one of the best hummus recipes I’ve ever tried and it has a totally unexpected ingredient in it. Capers! I know it sounds strange but love it! And it went surprisingly well with everything else in the dish.

So aside from capers and chickpeas the hummus also has the usual suspects of olive oil, tahini, lemon juice, garlic, paprika, plus some brine from the capers. You whip it up in a food processor and voila! Instant deliciousness!

The final component of the wraps is some simple sauteed veggies such a shredded red and green cabbage, carrots salt and pepper and a bit of olive oil. Celine and Tamasin say to make this an even quicker meal you can just toss the raw veg with the oil and salt and serve that way but I chose to saute the veggies and it turned out really well. Once all the steps are completed you smear a generous amount of hummus onto a tortilla, layer on some bulgur top it with the veggies and roll it up! You really have to try these, they are absolutely to die for!

Vegan Mofo #24 - Terry’s Crepes With Un-Dulce de Leche and Sweet Plantains

Vegan Mofo #24 - Terry’s Crepes With Un-Dulce de Leche and Sweet Plantains 

The Book - Viva Vegan!
The Author - Terry Hope Romero
The Recipe - Crepes With Un-Dulce de Leche and Sweet Plantains
Page # 227-228
Difficulty - Easy
Duration - Roughly 45 minutes for the sauce and an additional 1 hour and 45 minutes for the crepes once the sauce is made. However you can save yourself some time by making the sauce ahead. You can even make the crepe batter ahead of time too.

Okay, so perhaps I spoke to soon when I said there would be no more breakfast sandwich posts for this Mofo. I have at least one other one that I forgot about, and while crepes might not technically be a sandwich I decided that sweet plantains stuffed inside some carby-goodness was a loose enough interpretation of the word ‘sandwich’ to suit my theme. Besides these are so freaking good that I needed to tell you about them so you’d make them and see for yourself just how amazing they are.

Now I am not a crepe expert or a crepe master by any stretch of the imagination. In fact I’ve only made crepes a couple of times in my life, but this recipe really called to me as I’m a big fan of plantains. So even though I was feeling a bit intimidated by the crepe making aspect the plantains had my mouth watering enough to want to give it a try anyway, and I’m so glad I did, because they really are fantastic. By the way Terry calls these dessert crepes, but I’ll be honest, I served them for breakfast. Why not right?

So, first the sauce. It’s actually really simple to put together if time consuming, but well wroth it. It’s made with soy creamer or rich soy milk, arrowroot powder, brown rice syrup, brown sugar, vegan butter, and vanilla extract. Once you have everything whisked together you bring it to a boil then reduce to a simmer for about thirty minutes or so until the sauce thickens. So you see it’s easy, and most of the ‘cooking’ time is non-active as you only have to stir occasionally.

Now the crepes. They’re also very simple, made with soy or almond milk, water, flour, chickpea flour, sugar, and salt. Blend it all together, stick it in the fridge for at least an hour and then start making your crepes.

The Plantains are easy too, just plantains, brown sugar, lime juice, vegan butter, rum and cooking spray. You slice the plantains thin on an angle and fry them in a hot cast iron pan with the other ingredients until they’re brown and caramelized. Then you take your cooked crepe, layer in some plantains to one side, drizzle the sauce over top, and fold the crepe in half. Layer more plantains over top and more sauce then fold the crepe again and that’s it. You’re done! Serve with a few additional plantains and some sauce scattered across the top and with a bit of fruit. I’ve tossed some fresh pineapple slices onto the plate to give it a bit of a tropical flair.

Now as good as these are you might want to be ware - they are very sweet! So if you don’t have a sweet tooth go easy on the sauce, and even if you do have a sweet tooth trust me when I say one or two of these guys is plenty! Any more and you’ll likely go into a diabetic coma. Just kidding!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Vegan Mofo #23 - Celine & Tamasin’s Bean and Nut Burgers...

Vegan Mofo #23 - Celine & Tamasin’s Bean and Nut Burgers 

The Book - Vegan Sandwiches Save the Day!
The Author - Celine Steen & Tamasin Noyes
The Recipe - Bean and Nut Burgers
Page # 108
Difficulty - Easy
Duration - Roughly 30 minutes

These are super simple burgers that are quick and easy to whip together making them perfect for a midweek or busy weekend meal. They also utilize simple pantry-staple ingredients and emphasize whole foods which I like. The majority of the burger is made from either black or cannellini beans and walnuts. Then you add in your onion powder, garlic, cayenne, sea salt and black pepper. Some breadcrumbs - I used home made - and Barbeque Sauce - I used a store bought BBQ sauce as I didn’t have time to make it from scratch. Also I wanted to use cannellini beans rather then black beans but didn’t have any so I used navy beans - another white bean - instead and they were delicious. White beans are a little more subtle in flavor then black beans and that’s what I was looking for. I wanted a bean and nut burger that didn’t taste like ground up beans and nuts. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, it’s just I wasn’t in the mood for that sort of flavor. These burgers with their addition of BBQ sauce really fit the bill, and even my husband who’s a bean and nut hater loved them.

I served my bean and nut burgers on a pretzel roll, with a smear of Dijon Mustard, Vegan Mayo, and extra BBQ, then topped them off with tomatoes, bibb lettuce, red onion slices, and pickle. So delicious! I highly recommend making them if you have this cook book, and if you don’t own a copy of “Vegan Sandwiches Save the Day” yet then you need to pick one up! So far every sandwich I’ve made from this book has been spectacular, as well as fairly quick and pretty easy. It’s the perfect go-to book when you’re in a rush but want some home cooked food rather then take-out.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Vegan Mofo #22 - Celine & Tamasin’s Navajo Tacos...

Vegan Mofo #22 - Celine & Tamasin’s Navajo Tacos 

The Book - Vegan Sandwiches Save the Day!
The Author - Celine Steen & Tamasin Noyes
The Recipe - Navajo Tacos
Page # 47
Difficulty - Easy
Duration - Roughly 30 minutes

I was intrigued by this recipe from the first moment I opened this book. The picture is scrumptious looking and the recipe sounded easy and delicious. I couldn’t wait to give it a try though I’ll admit I was initially daunted at the prospect of making my own bread. Not that I’m not capable of making my own bread but whenever I do it always seems to be such a long process. Not so in this case. This entire recipe is super simple to throw together even with the bread. The dough is simple, only has to rest for fifteen minutes and then it cooks up quickly fried in a pan of hot oil. The dough recipe is suppose to be enough for 4 pieces of bread but I found it was really only enough for two, two plate sized pieces.

As for the other ingredient’s it’s somewhat traditional taco fare all piled onto a piece of fried bread. Perhaps it’s not technically a sandwich but as it is on bread, and as I do believe I mentioned including taco’s in my Mofo theme, and as the recipe does appears in a book of vegan sandwiches I feel it was appropriate.

So what goes onto the bread? Shredded lettuce, corn salsa, tomato salsa lime wedges, avocado, cilantro and chorizo chickpeas. However I changed this around since I didn’t have any limes I just squirted some bottled lime juice over top. I also didn’t have any corn salsa and couldn’t find any organic corn salsa at the store so I just used organic frozen corn - thawed of course - and extra tomato salsa instead. The chickpeas however are the real star of the show, and I have to say - chorizo chickpeas are probably my new favorite thing ever!!

They’re quick and simple to prepare. They’re spicy and sweet. Basically you pan-fry canned chickpeas in a medley of spices - paprika, cayenne, sea salt, onion powder, minced garlic, olive oil, ketchup, apple cider vinegar, lime juice, and cumin. Until the liquid has been absorbed then you pile them on your taco and voila! Delicious! It’s nice to have both a soy and gluten-free option for a vegan chorizo that is nice and wholesome like that.

By far one of my newest favorite meals, you must try it!