Check out our NEW site!

This blog has been moved will no longer be updated. Please come visit us at our new site: Vegan Nosh.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Vegan Marshmallows, Baby

I have two words for you.

Vegan. Marshmallows.

I kid you NOT. After the last debacle around vegan marshmallows made with Emes not-at-all-vegan Sure-Gel it has been kind of a lost junk food. That brown rice based fluff stuff was OK for making rice krispy treats, but it wasn't something you could put on a stick and potentially light on fire. And the so-called strawberry version of the stuff? One bite and I took to referring to it as "Soylent Pink".

This year Chicago Soy Dairy came launched Dandies marshmallows on the vegan world. Soft, squishy, tasty, able to be skewered upon a stick, stuck into fire, and ignited!! Yes, real flames!

If you're into that sort of thing.

I'll be honest. I've kind of missed marshmallows. I haven't had one in about 9 years and I was kind of nostalgic for a marshmallow toasted over a real fire. I've been reading blog posts and tweets galore about Dandies so when we were by Food Fight this past Saturday we picked up a bag to take to a birthday party, with a campfire, that evening.

We pulled out our fancy marshmallows, spent several minutes explaining that "regular" marshmallows are made with gelatin, listening to the smart-ass jokes (these seem to nearly always ensue when omnivores feel defensive about their food choices, but want to be polite), building a fire, letting it die down enough, and waiting for the birthday girl to find us something stick like.

The only thing that would have improved the experience is a longer stick. I'm not one who goes for the charcoal effect. Someone else was delighted to discover that the vegan marshmallows light on fire just like the "real thing". I grew out of that and generally prefer a long, slow, methodical toast to golden brown.

The bamboo skewers were just too short for this approach without seriously scorching my fingers (worse). However, the result I could manage before the heat drove me back was very satisfyingly bubbly, lightly toasted, and gooey on the inside! I so look forward to trying this out with some dark chocolate, graham crackers and a better stick!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Cold Curry Quinoa Salad

  • 1 small sweet or red onion (diced)
  • 1 small can diced tomatoes (drained)
  • 3oz grilled extra firm tofu (diced)
  • 1 smallish cucumber, peeled, seeded, and diced
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup slivered roasted almonds or cashews
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • pinch of saffron
  • 1 lime
  • chopped cilantro

Make quinoa as per normal, adding the curry powder & saffron in with the simmering water. While simmering, peel, slice and seed the cucumber, place in strainer and salt liberally to remove water. When quinoa finishes, let it cool to room temp, then combine all other ingredients. Let sit for at least 2 hours in fridge to allow flavors to meld. Serve cold topped with cilantro & fresh lime wedges to squeeze over.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Ginger Garlic Tempeh & String Bean Bun - Food Porn Version

I've decided just to write about cooking rather than always wait until I have a recipe "just right" to post. It will help me recreate delicious things so I can put together a recipe later. These posts will be noted "Food Porn" to show that there's no recipe and have the tag FoodPorn as well, just my going on about something delicious.

Onto the food porn.

Best. Tempeh. Ever. Seriously.

We had in the house pounds of string beans from the garden and Christie asked for tempeh tonight. I stood around in the kitchen for a few minutes before deciding to make a stir-fry. Made up a marinade of ginger, garlic, shoyu, red miso, agave, peanut oil, canola oil, hot chili oil, and water all whisked up together. Diced tempeh went into this yummy mix.

Pulled the the tempeh out of the marinade and set it aside. The tempeh then went into a rather hot wok with some canola oil. Kept tossing it and frying with a lid on until the tempeh was browned. Then I added in a little bit of the marinade to coat the cubes further.

Some sweet onion, a carrot and a little red bell pepper for color were cut up small. All were stir fried with a pile of the green & yellow beans chopped up. After they cooked until the beans started to soften I added in most of the marinade. After the beans were cooked all the way I added the tempeh into the pan and tossed everything together.

Cooked up some rice noodles, vermicelli, which were the weakest part. Tasty, but not great. I'm really going for more of a Vietnamese bun. The noodles were a fine, just not as great as the stir-fry. Added some shredded, Farmers Market lettuce and sliced up cucumbers from the garden.

Yes, I will admit to nearly dancing in glee in the kitchen as this came together. We sat out on the deck in the breeze to enjoy. It was a lot of fun sitting a few feet from the golden string beans growing up the south side of the deck as we ate them for dinner.

Will have to try this whole thing out again with the "right" noodles as well as some cilantro, lime to squeeze over the top and mung bean sprouts. Those things would be a really nice addition to all the flavors. Christie also noted it would be great to have the cucumbers in a little rice vinegar as well. A recipe will be forthcoming on this and really, pictures soon.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Ginger Miso Dressing

Tonight Christie tasted the dressing and we both agreed that this one needs to be saved. For sometime now she's wanted something kind of like the ginger dressing they serve over monk bowls at Blossoming Lotus. I've wanted something kind of like the Hollyhock dressing (from Hollyhock Cooks)they serve at Great Vow. This dressing is a delicious hybrid of the two!

A couple note on this -- since this is a raw dressing and won't be used for cooking I went all out with the ingredients. Bragg's Aminos, raw hemp seed oil, nutritional yeast, and miso -- these are all good things for you!

The Stuff
  • 5 inches fresh ginger, peeled & cut into chunks
  • 2 Tbs. agave
  • 2 Tbs. white miso
  • 1/4 c. good oil (I used hemp seed)
  • 1/4 c. water
  • 1 Tbs. toasted sesame oil
  • 1/3 c. nutritional yeast
  • 1 Tbs. Bragg's Aminos (tamari, shoyu, soy sauce, etc.)
The Making

This is easy -- put all of the above into a blender and process until smooth. I usually pop the top off mine mid-process and slowly add in the nutritional yeast so it doesn't clump at all.

Pour into jar, keeps in the fridge a couple of weeks. Take out when needed and pour all over your food! Yum! Repeat.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Vegan mushroom "clam-less" chowder.

Somebody in my life who's been dipping their toe in the waters of vegetarian eating has been wanting New England-style clam chowder. This is a recipe mash-up that I came up with that works pretty well. Still missing that sea-food-y taste, but I think if I add powdered kelp, we may get even closer. IMO, it also needs some acid, like lemon. No matter, this tastes great! (Warning: a bit high in sodium...) Due to the mushroom base, this chowder comes out more brown than classic white, but it's still better than that nasty NY/Jersey red business they call "chowder" 0.o
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped roughly
  • 2 tbsp Earth Balance butter sub
  • 4 medium (1 lb. total) red potatoes, diced
  • 2 cups vegetarian broth
  • 2 cups crimini mushrooms, torn into chunks
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels (I used fire-roasted from Trader Joe's)
  • 1-2 cups celery-chopped (with leaves)
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Freshly-ground black pepper (to taste)
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp Old Bay seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp sage
  • 2 boxes IMAGINE-brand potato-leek soup -OR- 4 cans creamy potato soup of choice, -OR- make your own potato soup.
  • 1tbsp Wondra gravy thickener.

  1. Steam fry the onion in the butter sub 3min. Add garlic and steam from 4-5 min more.
  2. Add in mushrooms and veggie oyster sauce and steam fry 3-4 more min, or until the mushrooms start to release their juice.
  3. Add potatoes, celery and corn. Stir and combine with other ingredients. Add broth and bring to a simmer.
  4. Lower heat and add in potato soup and seasonings. Bring to boil, stirring regularly. Reduce to low and simmer for 20min, or until potatoes are tender.
  5. Whisk the Wondra or like thickener into 1/4 cup warm water, then add to soup pot and stir. Turn off heat and let stand.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Ginger Orange Salad

Christie had two requests today while we were walking around downtown enjoying the gorgeous July day: salad and something with Asian inspired flavors. We enjoyed these delicious, hearty salads for dinner outside in the cool breeze this evening.


  • 1/3 liquid from 1 can of mandarin oranges
  • 2 teaspoons agave
  • 2 tablespoons Bragg's Liquid Aminos (Tamari, Shoyu, or soy sauce would be fine)
  • 1/2 inch fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 tablespoon brown rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons raw tahini
  • 1/2 - 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • sea salt, to taste
  • chili flakes, to taste
  • Siracha, to taste
  • Black sesame seeds (because they look particularly awesome, however, white could be used)
Whisk together all ingredients until smooth in the bottom of a large bowl.

Into the bowl add:

The Veggies
  • Small handful of fresh string beans (I got to use the fabulous red ones from our garden)
  • Small handful of snow peas
  • 1/2 small head Nappa cabbage
  • 1/2 small head of Bok Choy
  • 2 small carrots
  • 4" from a large cucumber
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1 can of mandarin oranges (set aside)
  • 1/2 red bell pepper
  • **Sunflower seed sprouts to top (if you grow them or can get at a market)
All of the veggies are eiter sliced into thin, 1 - 2" pieces or shredded. Feel free to improvise, but I used this assortment.

Ginger Orange Tempeh
  • 1 pack of tempeh cut into 1/2" strips
  • 1/2" fresh ginger cut into thin, long pieces
  • 1/3 liquid from mandarin oranges
  • Sea Salt
  • Spray Canola oil for frying
Heat pan and add oil, a cast-iron grill pan is ideal for this. Add in strips of tempeh and cook until browned with a lid to keep from getting dry. Spray top of tempeh before turning in pan and cooking the other side until browned, adding a little sprinkle of salt. Flip again, add ginger then juice. Cover until juice has cooked in and ginger browned slightly. Set aside to cool, then cut into small pieces and tossed into the dressing.

Toss everything in the dressing until evenly coated; go ahead and use your hands! Garnish with sprouts & mandarin orange slices and serve.

Makes two dinner sized salads or could serve 4 as a first course.