Need a father figure?
The Papa is always there for you. This time we served him up with a little nutritional yeast and some Yves Veggie Pizza Pepperoni that we crisped up in olive oil. We admit that the idea of smothering The Papa with phony pepperoni sounds vaguely Oedipal, but this is one patricide that you can indulge with a clear conscience.
When it comes to vegan Chinese, there's only Juan.
And he'll have you saying "UNCLE!" in no time, because this food is just too much: all your favorite tastes from Chinatown and not a single animal product to be found! For instance, get a load of this hot and sour soup with mushrooms and root vegetables.
Or this hot and sweet stir-fried eggplant.
Or these stir-fried veggies with rice noodles
As if Uncle Juan's formidable talents weren't enough, this potluck also featured Moles's mind-blowing cashew broccoli with tofu and Curly's amazing coconut tapioca.
I know, I know. Too many superlatives in one post. But that's what happens when you've got three culinary juggernauts at a single potluck. Does anyone know the Chinese for "MERCY!"?
Dazzled! Floored! Dumbstruck! SPEECHLESS, even.
Okay. So I'm not speechless (it would probably take a to-scale model of a Lamborghini Diablo sculped in batter-fried tofu and floating in an Olympic-sized pool of ponzu sauce to render me speechless). But I am indeed dazzled, floored, and stricken by the long-awaited arrival of Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero's VEGANOMICON: The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook. It's true: the implacable post-punk kitcheners who brought us Vegan With a Vengeance and Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World have struck again, this time delivering the most comprehensive and accessible vegan cookbook we've ever seen.
Noodles's First Veganomicon: Leek and Green Pea Cassoulet with Biscuits
With over 250 tantalizing recipes built on easy-to-find, reasonably-priced staple ingredients, The Veganomicon covers every imaginable corner of the culinary landscape. Allow me to rehearse the categories in the Table of Contents: Snacks, Appetizers, Little Meals, Dips and Spreads; Brunch; Salads and Dressings; Dressings; Sammiches; Vegetables; Grains; Beans; Tofu, Tempeh, and Seitan; Soups; Casseroles; One-Pot Meals and Stove-Top Specialties; Pasta, Noodles, and Risotto; Sauces and Fillings; Breads, Muffins, and Scones; Cookies and Bars; Desserts; Menus for the Masses. HOLY SMOKES! Get ready for a flurry of new posts!
Moles's First Veganomicon: Tofu Florentine.
Eatin' Vegan. Burnin' Stuff. Life Is Good.
Last night some friends hosted an unforgettable vegan autumnfest featuring backyard b-ballin', pumpkin carving, a bonfire, and a four course meal by firelight. With the exceptions of a monster jam that brought down the backboard (party foul on N. Stockton...hmmm, too obvious; let's go with Nick S.) and a woefully abject attempt to pop popcorn in a makeshift tinfoil envelope (my bad, guys; I swear it worked when I was a Cub Scout), the evening was a roaring success.
Acorn Squash Soup
The Pretzel Course
Tofurky Brats and Italian Sausages with Sweet Potato Home Fries
Henne Apple Toddies, Smores, and Pumpkin Custard
(which isn't pictured since I gorged it before it occured to me to shoot that mug).
I don't know about the rest of you, but one of the things I do to relax is cook or bake. This weekend I was in full force with a curry craving to boot. I just kept adding things as I cooked, so feel free to take out what you don't have/substitute. I'm also a fan of using one pan, so instead of cooking the lentils separately, I cooked them right into the curry. Feel free to cook them separately and add later. Here's how it went down for me:
1 tablespoon Earth balance
1 clove garlic, pressed
1 tub China Rose tofu (it's local--you better check it out!)
3-4 leaves of kale
some collard greens
a little broccoli
some carrots (I cut up half a regular (i.e. not baby) carrot)
1 can coconut milk (light or regular)
1 can masapan curry paste (found at Asian Delight, another local grocery store worth checking out)
handful brown lentils
1 teaspoon peanut butter
1. Put pan on stove, medium high heat.
2. Add Earth Balance to pan
3. Add kale and collards to pan, braise
4. While kale and co' cooking, cut tofu into bite-sized chunks and add to pan
5. Crush a clove of garlic and add to pan, sauteeing.
6. Add coconut milk and curry paste
7. While that's cooking, add as much broccoli as you like.
8. Chop carrots and add them to the pan
9. Throw in some brown lentils
10. It's done when the lentils are edible.
11. Stir in some peanut butter at the end (or add maple syrup if you'd rather use that). The spice of the curry plus a little sweet is something I enjoy, but feel free to skip it if coconut milk is sweet enough for you.
Mykha's Magic Anniversary Party
Just back from west suburbs of Chicago, where we celebrated my parents' 40th wedding anniversary with this sumptuous vegan spread catered by Mykha's Restaurant in Glen Ellyn, IL. Mykha's is a delightful Vietnamese-French restaurant owned and operated by a fantastic woman who pours the proceeds back into an orphanage in Vietnam (her home country) that she has been helping to support for the past 20 years. Here's what we had:
Roasted winter squash, mushroom rolls, spring rolls, vermicelli rolls, chips and salsa, and marinated tofu with chanterelle mushrooms; it just isn't a party without some vegan cupcakes taking over the world, so moles contributed vanilla chocolate chip with chocolate ganache (my Dad's favorite) and coconut heaven (my Mom's favorite). If you're ever in Glen Ellyn (35 minutes west of downtown Chicago), stop into Mykha's for some amazing vegetarian and vegan fare (try the waterfall tofu or the mushrooms jubilee).
Careful where you buy your "organic" eggs!
As people are becoming increasingly aware of the downside of industrial animal agriculture for our collective health, the well being of animals, and the environment, the industry is getting more and more savvy about "giving consumers what they want" without really making a serious commitment to long-term systemic changes. Take, for example, this article from the October 5 edition of the Grand Rapids Press. The moral of the story? Indulging blind faith in food labeling is probably not a good strategy for maintaining a peaceable table. If you're going to buy the product, get to know your farmer and request a visit to the production facility.
All we need is some yellow corn bread to round out the color wheel. It's 90 degrees, but at least we can pretend its autumn.
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